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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148536 Find in a Library
Title: Creating an Effective School in a Southwest Detroit Gang Environment
Author(s): R Williams; J F Rutecki
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 8
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following the establishment of a gang headquarters within 2 blocks of Detroit's Earhart Middle School in 1989, school officials took action to deal with the problem.
Abstract: School officials realized they could not eliminate gang activity in the community by themselves and chose to collaborate with other community agencies. The school principal communicated to the community that Earhart Middle School would assist any individuals in the community who desired to improve themselves. Gang members who had dropped out of school were told they could use the school as a resource for placement in work and educational programs to improve the quality of their lives. Earhart also sent the message to gang members that the school was not interested in their affairs as long as they posed no problems and respected school rules. Students were advised that bandannas, beads, and other decorative gang symbols would not be tolerated. In addition, at least eight school staff members patrolled in front of the school during and after dismissal, and a campaign to keep the school free of graffiti was initiated. Further, the principal communicated to students that the police would be involved in any gang- related disciplinary action. A counseling agenda was prepared that involved conflict resolution and self-esteem enhancement, and a peer mediation and conflict resolution training program was introduced. The school's counseling department strengthened its ties with outside agencies to provide immediate assistance in cases of drug abuse, home violence, runaways, and health issues. Earhart Middle School determined that the effectiveness of the approach was due to its responsiveness to social conditions in the community.
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Crime in schools; Gang Prevention; Interagency cooperation; Juvenile counseling; Juvenile educational services; Juvenile program coordination; Michigan; Public education; School dropouts; Students
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference on Gangs, Schools, and Community, 1993, Orlando, Florida
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