Gangs, Bullying, and Violence

Gangs, Bullying, and Violence
What teachers need to know
By Kaylen Palmer and Kailey Schlosser
The 4 Elements of Bullying
 A bully: an individual who voluntarily seeks out and
attempts to victimize others
 A potential victim: a student who is substantially weaker
than the bully in one or more significant ways
 A location in which it can occur
 School locations where bullying is common are often
those with limited adult supervision, such as hallways,
bathrooms, and playgrounds
 Student bystanders are a fourth important element that
often impacts bullying
 if witnesses are present when bullying occurs, these
bystanders can play a pivotal role by choosing either to
encourage the bully or to protect the victim.
Types of Bullying
 Shift from direct to indirect bullying takes place as children advance
from elementary to middle and high school
 Direct
 bully confronts the victim face-to-face
 situations in which the victim is verbally harassed or threatened,
physically attacked, or socially embarrassed
 Indirect
 bully attacks the victim’s social standing or reputation—usually
when the victim is not around
 if he or she spreads malicious gossip or writes insulting graffiti
about a classmate, or organizes a peer group to ostracize that
Boys vs Girls
 Boys are more likely than girls to report that they are
victims of physical bullying.
 Schools may also tend to overlook the possibility that
girls take part in bullying, both because of gender
stereotypes (i.e., that girls are ‘less aggressive’ than
boys) and because girls may prefer to bully using
indirect means such as hurtful gossip that are difficult
for adults to observe
Why bully?
 The bully may enjoy watching a weaker child suffer
 The bully may like the increased social status that
comes from bullying
 The bully may covet the money or personal property
that he or she can steal or extort from a victim
 A common myth about bullies is that they bully others
to cover up their own sense of inadequacy or poor
How would we know if a child is
being bullied?
 the presence or absence of friends in a child’s life
 Older children often bully younger children
 Passive victims may be physically weaker than most classmates,
avoid violence and physical horseplay, and be somewhat more
anxious than their peers
 Lacking friends, these children are an easy target for bullying
 Provocative victims may be both anxious and aggressive
 They may also have poor social skills and thus tend to irritate or
alienate their classmates
 Bullies often take pleasure in provoking these provocative
victims into an outburst through taunts or teasing, then sit back
and watch as the teacher reprimands or punishes the victim for
disrupting the class
Why does it happen in schools?
 Adults seldom see it occurring
 School staff may misinterpret aggressive bullying as
harmless physical horseplay
 When questioned by adults, victims often deny that
bullying is taking place
 There may be too few supervising adults in those
unstructured settings where bullying is most likely to occur
 Supervising adults may not be trained to intervene early
and assertively whenever they see questionable behavior
between children
What can you do?
 All staff must to be committed to a common response to
bullying when it does happen.
 Immediate intervention is crucial
 Clear procedures must take place when a case of
bullying is discovered
 The school needs to provide necessary support for the
individual teacher
 There must be clear guidelines that stipulate the
responsibilities teaching staff have when dealing with a
case of bullying
What can you do?
 Develop clear statements of what is appropriate
behavior in the classroom.
 This may be in the form of a school-wide Code of Conduct or in
an individual classroom or school statement.
 A good teacher will:
 Notice when a pupil is isolated and sad.
 Look for the reasons for this.
 Not see it as just play-fighting, name-calling, a bit of fun or just
part of growing up.
 Work with the victim to stop the offending behavior.
 Not tell the victim to ignore it, to sort it out themselves or to
hit back.
Why do you need to know this?
 Research indicated that beginning teachers are less
likely than veterans to respond to incidents of
 75% of 8 to 11-year-olds reported bullying in their schools
 More than 85% of 12 to 15-year-olds reported bullying in
their schools
 One third of students have reported being bullied or had
been bullying
 More common in the middle school level
Acts of Violence
 23 students died in schools
 15 from homicide
 8 from suicide
 Students aged 12-18 were victims of 1.9 million
nonfatal crimes, including 1.2 million thefts and
740,000 violent crimes
 Incidents of violence are highest at the middle school
level and decline as students are older
 Physical bullying is a crime
 3 trends
 1) incidence of violence in schools is declining
 2) students are safer in schools than on the streets
where they live
 3) school violence is more common in some school
contexts than in others
What is a Criminal Street Gang?
 A criminal street gang may be defined as a group of
people who form an allegiance for a common
purpose, who engage in criminal activity, and who
conform to one or more of the following traits.
 1. Share a common group name
2. Share common symbols, tattoos, or graffiti
3. Share a common style of dress
4. Frequently congregate upon, or lay claim to a
geographic location
5. Associate together on a regular or continuous basis
Why do Students Join Gangs?
Family Tradition
Dysfunctional Family
Strong Ties to Neighborhood
Cultural Awareness
Monetary Gain
Drug Addiction
How do you tell???
Gym Shoes and Athletic Clothes
The color of shoes vs. the color of laces
Two different colors of laces
"Converse" shoes with the five-pointed star shaded in
Tongues -- one side up, the other down
Laces -- halfway laced on one side
Wearing two different color shirts (E.g. Black tank top over gold tee shirt)
Specific professional or college team colors may match gang colors.
Specific team logos may carry gang meaning. (L.A. Kings - Latin Kings, Chicago Bulls
- People, etc.
Five- or six-pointed stars
Knitted with gang colors
Rabbit heads
Italian horns
Latin King Grillz
Right ear, gangs affiliated with the Disciples
Left ear, gangs affiliated with the Vice Lords or
Latin Kings (People)
“Money Over Bitches
(Member of Blood)
Blood burn mark
Hand Signs
Latin King
Gangster Disciple
Notebook Doodling
 nation gangs accent everything to the right side of
the body
 nation gangs accent everything on the left side of the
Naperville, Aurora, Plainfield,
Downers Grove, and Cicero Gangs
 Latin Counts, Sin City Boys, Surenos 13, Satan Disciples,
Latin Kings, Vice Lords, Gangster Disciples, Insane Deuces,
Maniac Latin Disciples, Ambrose, Four Corner Hustlers,
Imperial Insane Vice Lords, Mafia Insane, New Breeds,
Insane Popes, Imperial Gangsters, Gangster Two Six,
Noble Knights, La Raza, Two Two Boys, Conservative Vice
Lords Ashland Vikings, Party People, Spanish Cobras,
Bishops, 12th Street Players, Insane Majestics
 27 Gangs in our Surrounding Areas
What Can You Do?
 There are three “R’s” of gang mentality
 Reputation, Respect, Revenge
 Despite common belief, those involved in gangs
respond better to authority and rules. In a gang,
members are punished if they do not adhere to
authority or guidelines.
 As a teacher, you can have individual rules and goals
for a student whom you believe is involved in gangs.
 Keep your kids involved
What Else?
Keep yourselves informed!
Bullying: What Educators can do about it (A guide for educators) –
Bullying Prevention Resources (to use in classroom) –
Preventing Classroom Bullying –
Stop Bullying – Guide for Schools –
Gang Definition –
Resorces for Parents and for Kids involved in Gangs –
2012. <>.
 Cleary, Mark. "Stop Bullying!" Web.
 "Gangs OR Us Gang Identification." Gangs OR Us Gang Identification. Web. 22
Feb. 2012. <>.
 Kauchak, First, and First Eggen. Introduction to Teaching. 4th. Boston:
Pearson, 2011. 85-87.
 Wright, Jim. "Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do." Web.