One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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25 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    You’ll note: Tebow has no gang problem associated with his number.Report

  2. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    ya srsly

    Sports gear is used as gang colors all the time. Not that I (or, really, anyone) can say whether this particular instance was meant to be a gang thing.

    I’d rather worry about “making a finger-gun gets you suspended”. Although, really, the kid’s parents had to be trolling; why the hell would you think that “the sign for my name is a finger-gun” would be something that a modern school administration could allow themselves to accept?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      It just boggles my mind. Is there evidence that such policies do anything about gang violence? And, if you were a particularly meddlesome gang member, wouldn’t you just start making things like the school mascot or colors into gang symbols? Just to fuck with everyone?Report

      • Avatar balthan says:

        “Hello Kitty Souljas represent!”Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        “Is there evidence that such policies do anything about gang violence?”

        Well, preventing one form of overt display stops at least some of the stupid fights about what gang you belong to. Better to just not have people in gangs, but that’s not necessarily something the school can control.

        “And, if you were a particularly meddlesome gang member, wouldn’t you just start making things like the school mascot or colors into gang symbols?”

        Which is why you have to hope that the symbol in question is something independent of the school itself. Even in places with school uniforms, kids will find ways to individualize–and to declare that their particular form of customization represents allegiance to a particular gang.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        Perhaps the primary concern is that the kids not be mistaken for gang members and shot on the way home?Report

  3. Avatar MikeSchilling says:

    What if one of the Jewish kids is wearing a “chai” symbol? (Not the milky tea chai, the other one.)Report

  4. Avatar Will Truman says:

    My school banned Bo Jackson jerseys. It was officially a “gang” thing. Not because there really were any gangs of not. It’s just that when suddenly a couple dozen kids are suddenly wearing the exact same thing, the leaders all say “Crap! Gang!” and not (Boy, that Bo Jackson fellow must be popular).

    Along similar lines, they were building a new school when I was in middle school and about 1/3 to 1/2 of our school was going to be going to the new school. They had a submission process and vote to pick a mascot. Out of nowhere, everyone fell in love with the name “Cobras” and I am told it won the vote overwhelmingly.

    I had to be told this because they never released the results. They went with “Cardinals” and said that was how it’s going to be. Behind the scenes, I heard, the sudden choice of a name that otherwise never would have been considered freaked them out and they thought it might be some gang thing.

    Things like this are why I was liberal upon graduating from high school.Report

  5. Ordinarily, I’d be pretty incredulous about this sort of policy, but this one seems reasonably well-tailored to deal with a specific problem in this specific school. I’m not at all certain it’s an effective policy or likely to do any good – in fact, I very much doubt it is – but I can see where the district is coming from. It’s aimed at a specific gang with a particularly nasty reputation, that, so far as I can tell, is believed to have a pretty strong presence in the region, and recruits almost exclusively from the Latino population. Wikipedia tells me that Greeley is heavily Latino and there are allegations of a noticeable gang presence, though it’s got a relatively low crime rate, and I have a longstanding suspicion of how police estimate gang membership. Whether this means that 18th Street gang has a strong presence in the city, I’m not at all certain, but I can at least see why it’s reasonable for this school to be concerned with it.

    This is a stark contrast to the story a few weeks ago in Oklahoma City, where a 6 year old was prohibited from wearing a Michigan t-shirt due to a city-wide policy prohibiting students from wearing athletic apparel featuring any team other than an Oklahoma school or university. Now THAT’s ridiculous.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      I missed the part where this was Greeley. If we hadn’t gone to Deseret, we likely would have gone there.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:


      Thanks for providing more context. You are right that the scenario you offered is several degrees worse than this one… but I’m still not sure I’m okay with such practices. Isn’t it basically the definition of “caving to terrorism” just with different words associated? Everyone suffers because of some bad apples, that may or may not even exist in the way that we think they do? I’m generally opposed to school uniforms and dress codes. Sending a 3rd grader home because of a football jersey? Seems they could have handled this better, even if there was a very real threat.Report

      • I generally agree- as I said, I still don’t think it’s a terribly good policy, but I can at least see where the district is coming from. It’s perhaps not different in kind to how I would define “caving to terrorism,” but it’s a significant difference in degree- it seems like the threat of gang violence in this situation is at least statistically significant, if surely exaggerated, and it’s a very specific set of numbers that, until the last few months, was probably highly unlikely to be displayed prominently on clothing in the district.

        That said, the one thing I don’t understand (regardless of my agreement or disagreement with the policy) is why they didn’t restrict the policy to high school students or at least exempt elementary school students.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          As BB pointed out above, if there is a real potential for a student to get physically injured simply for wearing his favorite player’s jersey and thus being mistaken for a rival gang member, I can see the school taking some sort of position. This very well might be the motivation. If so, I think they need to sell this message and handle such situations differently than it appears they did here. And I think it makes sense to apply it to students of all ages, since a rival gang member might not discern based on age (or maybe they would… I’ll totally cop to not being an expert on gang violence).

          I just hate reactionary nonsense that seems to indicate a rash decision made about a generally misunderstood issue. Which this seems to be. You’ve offered evidence that indicates maybe I was a bit hasty in my criticism, in which case I’m happy to temper it. So many schools just seem to be run my nincompoops.Report