Local News

Gang activity up in Wake County schools

Posted August 11, 2008
Updated August 12, 2008

— The Wake County Public School System if looking for ways to combat a growing gang problem.

In recent weeks, a melee at Raleigh's Triangle Town Center mall and a shooting on the campus of North Carolina State University have highlighted the capital city's growing gang problem, which Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan described as "significant."

"If there is more happening in the community, sometimes that carries over to the schools as well,” Marvin Connelly Jr., Wake County schools assistant superintendent, said.

Connelly said gang activity is up in the school system. Last year, there were 692 gang incidents, compared with 520 the year before, a 33 percent increase.

"One incident is too many for us. So we are certainly are very concerned about any violation of board policies,” Connelly said.

Fifty percent of the gang-related incidents last year happened in the high schools, with 49 percent in middle schools

“You know, nobody wakes up in the morning and says, 'I want to join a gang,'” former gang member C.J. Blair said.

Blair said he joined the Crips gang when he was 12 years old.

"A gang offers affirmation, it offers support, it offers camaraderie,” he said.

Blair said that while he was in a gang, he was jailed and shot. These days, he works to keep teens out of gangs.

He said schools need to do more to discourage students from pursuing a gang lifestyle.

"I think they need to do a better job of engaging students, but first you have to find out what the students are in to,” he said.

The school system has programs to identify and prevent gang activity. Officials said the number of gang-related incidents are up, in part,  because the school system is doing a better job of identifying gang activity.

According to a recent study, there are 13 recognized gangs in Wake County, with the Bloods being the most prominent. There are about 2,400 known gang members or associates in the county. Associates are members who might not live in the area, but who have spent considerable time or have been arrested locally.

Wake and Durham counties are sharing in a $2.5 million federal grant to combat gang activity, and Wake County also received $1.4 million from the state – Durham got $1.2 million – to fight gangs.

Recent legislation signed into law by Gov. Mike Easley also increases the punishment for crimes committed by gang members. Lawmakers set aside $10 million in the budget to pay for the anti-gang measure.


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  • TheAdmiral Aug 13, 2008

    "Rev. Wright is NOT at the core of what is wrong with this country today; .... You have NO solutions nor a grasp of the problem!" - maillarrym6

    Pardon me maam or sir, but the thoughts of Reverend Wright and the people who were agreeing with him are at the very heart of the problem. They believe that they never get a fair shot unless they are the only one who is taking it. And when you question what they say, then they call you a racist. This childlike behavior is the center of what is wrong with the legal system and what is wrong with society. Whiney Crybaby mentality where if they don't get their way then it is racism or some other forsaken junk they spew. And the mentally retarded who sit there and nod and are in agreement do nothing more than foster the problem.

    I believe that I am on record here with solutions that have worked in the past and that are still working. You do not fix a problem by coming up with non-solutions and calling it fixed.

  • TheAdmiral Aug 13, 2008

    "But so often churches/religious organizations do spew some sort of hatred whether it be against gays, other religions, etc. The whole "since you don't believe the way my church does you are going to hell" attitude is the very reason why faith-based initiatives should stay out of the classroom"

    I agree - the mentality of "If your not with me your against me" is the pinnacle moral that is taught in gangs. So when churches state the same moral, maybe not using those same words, that is the message they are spreading.

    And your right - THOSE groups should not be in the school system.

  • TheAdmiral Aug 13, 2008

    "Having been involved in the 1st wave of so-called integration, I can assure you that "integration" unto itself ws NOT the problem; rather it was the overwhelming racism that existed (and continues to exist); for even though initially there were ONLY A FEW BLACK TEACHERS and virtually no administrators left in the 1960's integration effort"

    Ok - I am from Missouri - Show me. Because that statement is the beginning of racism in itself.

  • TheAdmiral Aug 13, 2008

    "In order for it to appear that the practice of banning corporal punishment had "NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE"; it became necessary to "limit" the practice even in the homes of America as being "bad for the child". Now with "parents approval" they've tried to "sneak it back" as a part of the disciplinary procedure--but we are 4 decades TOO LATE and it'll never work again."

    It is never too late to spank a parent.

  • TheAdmiral Aug 13, 2008

    "I don't know where you're getting your info from because i'm around plenty of people of color everyday and I never hear this talk of "the man" or being owed something."

    You have not been in a local ghetto then. Or at the local unemployment office. Or anywhere else there is a free hand out.

    I have.

  • TheAdmiral Aug 13, 2008


    "It seems like being gay or whatever sin you wish to be a part of is okay ... but I have the duty to lift that gay person up to the standard to ask if they want to live the life that God wants them to or live the lifestyle that they want to live."

    "White people are potential humans — they haven't evolved yet" in March 2000."

    "Farrakhan has referred to white people as "White Devils"'

    In which he followed it up with "We must kill all of the White Devils" in the same speech.

    So - more relativist nonsense to attempt to defend whackos.

  • TheAdmiral Aug 13, 2008

    "That's how we got into Iraq and the economy went bad--listening to people with negative (no solution) sound bites."

    Your proof that you want is the entire tape of Jessie Jackson telling another on TV with the microphone on that Obama talks down to the black people and he wants to castrate him.

    I don't think that is a sound byte at all.

  • rargos Aug 13, 2008

    The fruits of liberalism and political correctness : gangs in schools.

    Back in the "unenligtened days" you could let small children roam the neighborhood without fear for their safety. Now you can't even send them to school without exposing them to gang members.

    Is your community really better off than it was 20 years ago? Has political correctness made our lives better?

  • Tired_of_LIBERALS Aug 13, 2008

    These liberals just won't open their eyes and see what is really happening. Their only recourse to the truth is to call the truth "sound bites" - whatever that means...

  • Tired Of Excuses Aug 12, 2008

    "Blair said he joined the Crips gang when he was 12 years old.
    "A gang offers affirmation, it offers support, it offers camaraderie,” he said."

    If this is the satisfaction that being a member of a worthless gang gives a CHILD then join a club, participate in a sport, join a church youth group, or get an XBOX 360 and go live. Give me a break. I wonder how many of these gang members have parents who are active in their lives and parent them? I'm guessing none.
    The only reason why this is even an issue is because of what happend at the Triangle Towne Center Mall.