Gang Awareness Message is from Michael Leonard, Criminal Justice
Message for Parents
What preventive steps can parents take to help
their children avoid possible risk of gang membership?
- Praise your child and encourage him/her
to do his/her very best.
- Explain the dangers and consequences of
being a member of a gang.
- Share your disapproval of gangs and that
you do not want him/her hurt.
- Explain to your child that gang peer
pressure means that he/she is letting someone else make decisions for
- Discuss that joining a gang makes him/her
dependent rather than an independent thinker
a zero tolerance for the display of gang names, symbols, or any other
gang related graffiti on books, papers, clothes, bodies, walls or any
- Set boundaries by imposing curfews and
requiring accountability for time.
- Emphasize the importance of education and
help your child do his/her best in school.
- Monitor all activities on websites and
the internet, because gangs recruit on the internet.
- Involve your child in supervised,
positive group activities in school, in church, in the community.
an active participant in your child’s life. Respect your child’s
feelings and attitudes and help them develop high self-esteem.
What are the signs of possible gang involvement
that parents should watch for?
- Changes in school attendance or school
- Non participation in family activities or
withdrawal from family gatherings
- Changes or new use of slang in the
- Associates with undesirable friends and
breaks parental rules consistently
- Missing curfew or staying out later than
- Change in behavior by demanding too much
- Participating in the use of alcohol or
- Obtaining money or articles of clothing
that are unaware to parents
- Emotional mood swings or changes in
patterns of behavior.
of these can be seen as normal patterns of youth development. You need
to have at least three of these identifiers in combination to indicate
possible gang involvement. Know the difference by being an
community should have a complete and thorough gang assessment done by a
professional gang expert. Interested in a presentation to
business, church, civic group or classroom?
reach Michael Leonard Sr. at his email address Gangsrreal@yahoo.com.