There may be kids in your neighborhood who know about or are part of gangs, which can be pretty scary. They could be involved in illegal activities or hurt other people.
There are lots of reasons people join gangs. Below are just a few examples.
- They don't feel like they have a family member with whom they can talk.
- They feel left out and want to belong.
- They are drawn to the excitement of the misbehaving.
Sometimes gang members carry weapons. If you know that someone has a dangerous weapon with them at school, you should take the actions listed below.
- Walk away from the situation.
- Tell an adult right away, and tell them everything you know about the situation.
- Write down what you remember, so that you won't forget if authorities ask you in the future.
If somebody is in a gang, they might be dangerous. However, they may demonstrate other behaviors:
- Poor performance in school.
- Fascination with violent games, movies or TV.
- Practice graffiti.
- Wear gang colors.
- Know gang members.
- Draw gang symbols.
- Don't care about extracurricular activities
Someone Has a Weapon at School -- What Should I Do?, Kidshealth.org.
Gang Resistance Education and Training, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Talking With Kids About Violence, TalkingWithKids.org.