Local News

Wake County Wants Systemwide Policy To Handle Gang Problems In Schools

Posted March 15, 2005 4:40 a.m. EST

— Wake County schools are considering a policy that cracks down on gang activity.

John Rothecker, security director for Wake County Schools, said the influence of gangs is coming into the school system. The proposed policy would ban all gang graffiti, shirts and colors.

"What we're seeing is tagging on notebooks. We are starting to see some tagging on bathroom walls," Rothecker said.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said schools help in the county-wide crackdown. His department tracks graffiti on the streets and gang tattoos in the jail.

"That's where you get the reality, when you start documenting some of this stuff. That's what we're doing now," Harrison said.

All schools have someone trained to identify gang signs. Students first get a warning. Suspensions follow for repeat behavior. The school board is set to discuss the idea at the next board meeting.