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Gang membership among students in the US has an impact on how well schools function. The presence of criminals in American public schools is a particular issue that impairs effectiveness. These gangs make it easier for drugs and weapons to enter schools, endangering the safety of other pupils. In the US, gang culture has existed since the 1830s. These groups are expanding rapidly despite attempts to eradicate the gang culture. Therefore, the majority of parents worry about the hostile environments in which their children seek their academic interests. The prevalence of student gangs in American schools has grown along with their membership. With proper gang prevention programs, the American Society can eradicate these gangs from its school environments.
Bradshaw et al. (2012) examined the link between school gangs, bullying, and poor school performance. The authors note that much attention has not been subjected to gang membership, substance abuse, and carrying weapons. Based on the study, bullying is a leading causal aspect of gang formation and violence in many public schools. Most students who have at some point in time been subjected to bullying end up joining gangs for safety purposes. Bradshaw et al. (2012) also identify adolescence as the most vulnerable period in which youths are likely to engage in risky behaviors. According to Bradshaw et al. (2012), "youths who are victims of bullying are at risk for involvement in violence" (P. 221) The social learning theory assumes that after bullying, youths engage in violence since they perceive it as a stable solution to conflicts. Thus, the authors help in identifying bullying as a major cause of gang violence in public schools.
Rendon (2014) explores how peer ties facilitate school non-completion. The author recognizes urban violence as a cause of gang formation in schools. Precisely, most students join gangs that exist in their neighborhoods. Many students join the street gangs to protect themselves from opponents. Increased gang violence activities, especially in public schools, bar many youths from completing school successfully. Rendon (2014) holds the belief that gang membership is high among students brought up in poor neighborhoods. The existence of gangs in schools is portrayed as a practice that hinders many participants from accomplishing their academic goals. The larger American Society is thus to blame for exposing youths to violence. The gang violence traits adopted from the streets are then channeled to schools where more members are enrolled. Rendon (2014), states "Latinos have a high school non-completion rate twice the national average" (P.63). The high rate of school non-completion among students is attributed to violent behaviors that force schools to penalize or suspend the perpetrators.
Lunenburg (2010) conducted a study reviewing how gang violence is causing chaos in American schools. Students adopt violence from their neighborhoods, thereby transferring them to the school environment. Lunenburg (2010) states "gunshot wounds are one of the leading causes of death among high school students in the U.S." (P. 1). Thus, gang formation in schools is characterized by weapons which endanger the lives of both gang members and non-members. Many students cannot concentrate on their studies for fear of violence that can erupt at any time. Also, schools that have violent gangs showcase minimal or no discipline at all. Thus the author calls for gang disbandment for America to run productive and safe schools.
There exist numerous solutions that can be employed to tame the school gang problem in the U.S. Parents need to be actively involved in creating strong bonds with their children. For instance, close relationships between parents and students can help reduce the rate of drugs and substance abuse. Parents ought to be trained on how to interact with their children whether they are gang members or not. Each member of the society has a responsibility of creating violent free neighborhoods for students to concentrate on their studies rather than engaging in criminal activities. School administrators should create a learning environment where all students feel valued and safe. Undertaking such an idea can easily eradicate unethical practices such as bullying and intimidation. Another possible solution is educating students on the negative outcomes of gang membership. Precisely, issues such as school non-completion and death resulting from violence should be well-understood. All the causal factors of gang membership should be addressed both in the school and outside environments. Based on the complexity of gang existence in schools, teachers, parents, and societal institutions should work hand in hand to create safer schooling institutions. Since considerable influence emanates from urban criminal gangs, the authorities should work hard towards taming crime affiliations.
Gang membership in American public schools is increasing at a tremendous rate. This aspect portrays numerous adverse effects such as school discontinuation and the death of many students. Bullying in schools stands out as one factor that influences the existence of gangs in schools. Also, exposure to violence in the society promotes gang formation. These gangs go hand in hand with drug abuse and the use of guns. Parents, teachers, and the government ought to work together on eradicating all the contributing factors. All the suitable solutions are highly needed since these gangs are causing severe harm to the American education system.
Bradshaw, C., Waasdorp, T., Goldweber, A., & Johnson, S. (2012). Bullies, gangs, drugs, and school: Understanding the overlap and the role of ethnicity and urbanicity. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42(2), 220-234.
Lunenburg, F. (2010). School violence in America's schools. Focus on Colleges, Universities, and Schools, 4(1), 1-4.
Rendon, M. (2014). Caught up: How urban violence and peer ties contribute to high school noncompletion. Journal of Social Problems, 61(1), 61-78.
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