Is your child involved with gangs?

  • Unfortunately, gang participation in the United States is soaring. In the past thirty years the ranks of gang members across the United States is up 1400%—from 55,000 gang members in 1975 to over 800,000 today. Violent music, videos, video games and a youth culture that supports the “gangsta” experience is glamorizing the culture and making it attractive to teens. Parents need to fight back. Here are some common warning signs that your child might be involved in a gang.

    • Child uses gang slang in ordinary conversation around the house.
    • Adopts a new nickname that is consistent with gang culture.
    • Secretive about new friends, not willing to have parents meet them.
    • Flashing hand signs to friends, or even when alone. Practices them at home.
    • Wanting to wear clothes of consistently the same color, especially of the same paired colors, i.e. blue and black or red and black.
    • Gang symbols or graffiti on notebooks and personal property.
    • Inability/unwillingness to account for their time away from home.
    • Changes in health due to drug/alcohol abuse.
    • Large amounts of unexplained cash, electronics or stolen merchandise.
    • Sudden change in behavior and loss of interest in family activities.
    • Frequently staying out past curfew and not offering explanation for activity.