State News

Charlotte school system identifies 70 gangs

Posted August 13, 2008

— Charlotte-Mecklenburg school officials say there are about 70 gangs operating in the county's schools, with about 450 members.

The news comes one day after Wake County school officials said they are looking for ways to combat their own gang problems.

Wake County reported 692 gang incidents last year, compared with 520 the year before – representing a 33 percent increase.

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

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.

The Charlotte school district issued a report Tuesday on what they say is the first comprehensive report on gangs in schools.

Superintendent Peter Gorman told the school board that it's important not to underestimate the impact of gang activity in schools, The Charlotte Observer reported.

Board member Larry Gauvreau said the report identifies the gangs by name and members should be expelled.

The report said the gangs in Charlotte schools are not the kind of violent, organized "notorious" gangs in larger cities such as Los Angeles.

The report analyzed discipline records in the schools for five years, concluding gang activity has a relatively minor impact.

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.

40 Comments

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  • Timetogo Aug 14, 2008

    If a PARENT was at home after school CARING FOR the CHILD and the SCHOOL was allowed to maintain DISCIPLINE (the new 'd-word') in the CLASSROOM... Do you really think this problem would have developed into this???

  • durhamguy Aug 13, 2008

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

    Anyone else worried that 49% is in middle schools? No wonder more and more 13-15 yr olds are envolved with major crimes now.

  • gammasandi Aug 13, 2008

    no one should be surprised-just another Jay Robinson legacy-in 1981 my son who reported a drug dealer who tried to sell him drugs was assaulted by the dealer in a Charlotte jr high -the school and the central office first response was to "sweep it under the rug"-well , all their little dust bunnies have come out a monstrous hares! Too bad those who turned blind eyes and deaf ears to real problems aren't around to reap what they sowed-

  • Adelinthe Aug 13, 2008

    Strict unforms for all!

    Black trousers, white polo-type shirts, black shoes for all - including girls.

    No frills of any kind like hats, etc.

    Will that stop gangs? Of course not, but it will at least make everyone equal on the clothing front, and it WILL get rid of the gang peraphenalia in the schools.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • dplowman Aug 13, 2008

    I guess the gangs are the good kind not the violent kind in the big citys. The more gangs they can idintify the more money the feds will give them

  • neutral observer Aug 13, 2008

    To the admiral, Why do you think there are so many young men being raised by their mother or grandmother? Its a cultural thing. Within this culture, you are a real man if you father numerous children, manipulate and live off the system, you never work because uncle sam is always there to take care of you. Our goverment created this culture and now wants to blame racism, gangs and economics as the problem. All of these factors are just symptoms of the real problem, culture! Now there are those that want us to take this type child and raise them the proper way. Good Luck!

  • Coach K is GREAT Aug 13, 2008

    Tax Man, your approach to gangs is very wrongheaded. The key to eradicating gangs is providing programs to help these troubled young people lift themselves out of poverty, hopelessness, etc. Of course, some of them must be incarcerated for very long periods of time but most of them can be redeemed. In addition, the families and neighborhoods these young men are reared in produce kids vulnerable to gangs. We must also address these issues as well. I am not suggesting more welfare programs but more programs designed to lift people up.
    elhalema
    August 13, 2008 9:05 a.m.
    Report abuse

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!!!

    YOU CAN'T HELP THOSE WHO DON'T WANT TO BE HELPED!!!!!!
    I say stop giving out handouts and throw the book at all that don't/can't abide by the laws set by this state/country.

    LOCK THEM UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY. PROGRAMS?????? WHAT A JOKE!!!!!

    EVERY ONE WANTS SOMETHING FOR NOTHING. IT'S TIME THIS STOPS!!!!

  • hkypky Aug 13, 2008

    If they can be counted and identified then they can be eliminated should they be disruptive or causing harm to students, faculty, or staff, period.

    It's simpler that most people want to believe thanks to all the PC out there today.

  • wakebrdnrc Aug 13, 2008

    Just take the known "gang members" and drop them off in LA, NYC, Chicago, or Detroit. Have them in a real "hood" with there suburban gang ways and see how it affects them. Bet that will change them. And stop the news from talking about gangs every day. That just attracts the kids to it.

  • TheAdmiral Aug 13, 2008

    You stated: "The gang issue can't be solved with role models or people "acting" as parents."

    I stated: "Then you have lost the war without fighting the first battle."

    You said I was wrong. Then you explain to me why there is a big problem with kids in single parent families with no male adult in the home. You can't tell me it is because the mother doesn't care or the father doesn't care. It is because the child is modeling how THEY believe their parents see them on that latch key.

    If the parent is not at home, or there is no influence - then you tell me why these kids feel alienated.

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