Councils study report on gangs in local schools

Jim Holt (Rocky Mount Telegram) | December 27, 2010

Gangs and their influence are a real problem in Twin Counties schools, according to a final report recently released by the Nash and Edgecombe Juvenile Crime Prevention councils.

The report was the product of several surveys that community leaders, residents and youth filled out assessing gang activity from August 2009 to September 2010.

The results “provide insight into the perceptions on the presence and impact of gangs in the community, as well as suggestions for intervention and prevention,” according to the report.

Twin Counties youth filled out a 50-question survey on school performance and safety, gang involvement, alcohol and drug usage and family relationships, among others.

Fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders in Edgecombe County Public Schools participated in the survey.

The Nash-Rocky Mount school system did not participate, so “Nash County youth were surveyed at community organizations, agencies and events,” according to the report.

According to 206 Nash County youth, ages ranging from 10 to 19, 64.7 percent reported there were gangs at their school, and 29.5 percent said gangs have “been involved in the sale of drugs” at their respective schools in the past six months. The data also showed 21.4 percent of students said there have been gang members who have brought guns to school in the past six months.

In Edgecombe County Public Schools, 653 elementary and middle school youth said gangs exist in their schools, while 52.2 percent of Edgecombe County high schoolers said gangs existed in their schools.

The recommendations in the report for curbing local gang violence were increasing programs and recreation opportunities, mentoring and job provisions and job training.

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Image:  National Crime Prevention Council and Ad Council

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