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Keeping Teens out of Gangs...

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Keeping Teens out of Gangs...

Postby Warpigs » Wed May 17, 2006 1:46 pm

At the group home I help run for troubled teens here in PA, we've been receiving more issues lately involving the whole gang life. Specifically, we have teens who think they have a right to beat up people who "disrespect" them. I had a long talk this AM with a guy for making a threat yesterday about "settling" an issue between him and another peer away from staff. I asked why he and so many his age feel that because someone says something disrespectful to them, they have a right to retaliate with physical threats or actual violence. What happened to just walking away from a situation? Are everyone's egos and pride that swelled that they think it justifies stupid violence and cocky arrogance when someone "runs their mouth"?

I talked to the guy this AM, too, about gangs. If kids want to feel they belong and make friends, why can't they join the Boy Scouts or 4-H. Why do they have to join a gang? Why do they need to make the rest of their lives a cat and mouse game where they need to constantly be looking over their shoulders?

Does anyone here know of media (movies, songs, etc.) that helps show just how bad this lifestyle can be? I plan on using American History X as a discussion starter and will be looking into the "Redemption" movie about Tookie Williams. I need stuff that will suck in a teenage audience and lead to good discussion about how there really are options in life outside of joining gangs or decking people because they feel disrespected.
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Postby VaderFin » Wed May 17, 2006 2:05 pm

Boyz N The Hood would be a good movie to have them watch.
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Postby PackerAttack84 » Wed May 17, 2006 4:44 pm

American History X will be a good movie. I've seen it, a pretty powerful movie.
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Postby Popcynical » Wed May 17, 2006 5:15 pm

Maybe "City of God"? That one is more about other country gangs, but I think it'd get a point across.

Great movie, anyways.
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Postby DelhommesFan1 » Wed May 17, 2006 6:14 pm

i doubt a movie will get your point across....my parents were always involved in my life w/ sports and stuff....try helping the guy out getting involved into some positive activities.
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Postby mysticphysh » Wed May 17, 2006 7:37 pm

How about a positive movie about team work. Remember the Titans.

Like was stated above me, the best course of action is to get the kids involved with something else and sports is one of the best out there, especially a team sport.

If the kids aren't that athletic, look into music. If they can't afford it, there's programs out there that provide insturments for underprivledged kids.

Basically, you have to work with them to find their passion, then help hook them up. If they get involved with something with other ppl, it's less likely they'll get involved with gangs just to feel like they're apart of something.
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Postby Tiki » Wed May 17, 2006 10:57 pm

You can try Menace to Society. A lot of rap talks about gangs and gans violence, look into that. ;-D
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Postby portisfan24 » Thu May 18, 2006 12:27 am

Funny you should bring it up but theres been a lot of incidents involving gangs the last couple weeks in my city. I can't even handle thinking about it. The stupidity of a "gang" (especially in a rather small town like mine) is off the charts.
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Postby Warpigs » Thu May 18, 2006 12:22 pm

DelhommesFan1 wrote:i doubt a movie will get your point across....my parents were always involved in my life w/ sports and stuff....try helping the guy out getting involved into some positive activities.


I agree whole-heartedly. If they want to "belong", there are plenty of clubs, groups and sports teams that will keep them off the streets and channel their energy in a positive way. Our abilities to get kids into this stuff is limited since many are only with us a short while. We always encourage guys to get involved in positive groups like these when they are discharged, but there is a lot up to them.
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Postby Omaha Red Sox » Thu May 18, 2006 12:48 pm

DelhommesFan1 wrote:i doubt a movie will get your point across....my parents were always involved in my life w/ sports and stuff....try helping the guy out getting involved into some positive activities.


Very good point here. I strongly discourage gang movies as a tool to keep a kid from joining a gang. The movies only glamorize gangs from a kid's perspective. Kids think they're invincible. Killing, paralysis, etc. will not scare them. The only thing that will keep a kid out of trouble is self-worth, whether it be in sports or, if not athletic, art, writing, craftsmanship, etc. Working, building, and helping in the community is another great way to help a kid's self-worth. Most of these kids weren't shown that they are of any importance. By exposing them to things they can do, and do well, they begin to realize that they are important, not only in their own little world, but in the world as a whole. Hiking, camping, boating, building, landscaping, sports, martial arts, etc. All great ideas.
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