WEB QUEST Gangs in New York City High Schools Stalyn Nunez and Mary Sofianos Herbert H. Lehman College email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Nelson Falu, 17; Steven Carballo, 17; Denis Peitars, 17; Bryan Almonte, 17; and Brian Cepeda, 16 of the Bronx were arrested as suspects in October 2010 for the abduction and beating of three people they knew. These attackers called themselves the Latin King Goonies named after a famous Hispanic Chicago-based street gang. The Latin King Goonies abducted two 17 year olds and a 30 year old man, proceeded to torture, beat and sodomized them individually because of their sexual orientation. There were as many as 9 attackers to 1 victim, who were too scared at first to go to authorities. The attackers threatened to harm the victim’s families and were warned not to snitch. The gang members did their best to cover up their crime by bleaching, painting, and even ripping up flooring of the area that the torture took place. Police were still able to scrape up enough evidence and get accounts of the attacks that took place near Bronx Community College, and made arrests. Today's Urban street-gang involvement in drug trafficking and violent crime is becoming increasingly widespread—not just in large cities, but in suburban areas and small towns as well. Communities with emerging or existing gang problems must plan, develop, and implement comprehensive, harm-specific responses that include a broad range of community-based components. No universal strategy works to address all gang problems. The complexity of today’s gangs suggests the need for a comprehensive, multifaceted effort that targets the reasons youth join gangs. Such an effort may involve three programmatic approaches. The full story on the Latin King Goonies can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/nyregion/09bias.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1
Gang activity is prevalent amongst the youth in New York City schools. Much of gang membership is determined by factors such as income, race, family life, drugs, alcohol, power, status, security, friendship, and academic achievement.
Your Task In groups of three to four, you will do research on gang activity in New York City high schools. You will be provided with websites for references to online resources. You may also research in the school or local library, use newspaper articles, statistics and even conduct your own interviews to use as information for your web quest. Your team will investigate the factors that determine gang membership in New York City schools and beyond. You and your group members will use this information to gain perspective of the issue at hand and consider ways of preventing teen gang membership. You will also research any policies of this matter and share your opinions of their effectiveness and share your findings with the class. Your presentation should consist of at least one significant visual supporting your findings and point of view as well as any other visuals or aids you will provide. A written summary is required with a bibliography and resources cited.
The Process According to the Public Policy Analyst (PPA) Guidelines • Define the Problem: What is a gang? How does it effect the student as well as those around them? How do you identify a gang member? • Gather Evidence: Read articles and research gang history. Interview teachers or gang counselors to gain more perspective of what it means to have gangs in the community. • Identify Causes: Why join a gang? What is it about being a gang member that entices so many young people? Determine why gang membership can be misleading to the youth of today and why it is sometimes hard to leave the pack. • Evaluate a Policy: Are there any effective policies that exist today to help teens reject gang membership? Are there enough gang prevention programs out there? • Develop Solutions: How can teens access any valuable information about gang membership? How can we make it easier for kids in schools to become aware of the negative outcomes of being a gang member? • Select the Best Solution: How can we solve this problem? What are your best recommendations for those at risk?
Resources U.S. Department of Justice : Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Assistance Addressing Community Gang Problems: A Practical Guide Almanac of Policy Issues: National Criminal Justice Service National School Safety and Security Services: www.schoolsecurity.org Helping Gang Youth: www.helpinggangyouth.com Teen Gang Statistics: www.familyfirstaid.org Gangs in New York City: http://www.examiner.com/crime-in-new-york/gangs-nyc New York Gang Investors Association: www.nygia.org
New York State Standards to Consider Health, Physical Education and Family and Consumer Sciences Standard 2: A Safe and Healthy Environment. Students will acquire the knowledge and ability necessary to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment. Standard 3: Resource Management. Students will understand and be able to manage their personal and community resources. Technology Standard 2: Information Systems. Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies
Social Studies Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship, and Government. Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the necessity for establishing governments; the governmental system of the United States and other nations; the United States Constitution; the basic civic values of American constitutional democracy; the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation. English Language Arts Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen and speak for information and understanding. Standard 2: Students will read, listen, and speak for literary response and expression. Standard 3: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation. Standard 4: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for social interaction.
Conclusion To conclude, remember that you will work in groups of at least three. You will conduct research regarding gang activity in New York City high schools. When working on this project think about these questions: How do gangs affect the student population around you, and how do they affect you personally? If you were the principal of the school how would you deal with gang members in your school? How can we better our communities by preventing gang membership? Good luck on your Web Quest and thank you for making a difference!