In hopes of making Temple City a much safer community and preventing gang violence, the first “Safe Schools and Safe Neighborhood Community Forum” was held on Tuesday, March 4 in the high school Media Center from 7-9 p.m.
One issue that was addressed was whether or not Temple City has a gang problem. According to the statistics presented during the forum, in 2006 there were six reported gang related incidents, three in 2007, and one in 2008. The majority of the crimes in Temple City are property crimes, robbery, or vandalism, better known as tagging. Gang related crimes/hate crimes make up a small percentage of overall crimes in Temple City.
Currently, in regular adult court, not juvenile court, the judge can treat a minor like an adult the day he or she turns fourteen. Also, Proposition 21 states that it is easier to treat kids like adults. Minors may be given bigger sentences for gang crimes, life sentences, and death penalties.
There are many prevention techniques that parents can utilize in order to save their children from being involved in gangs. First, they can spend time with their children because they need their parents’ love and support in order to gain a mutual trust. Parents should also attend children’s school events and show their support in their kids’ activities.
Also, try to get to know children’s’ friends and their friends’ parents. Establishing a mutual understanding and relationship will make communicating easier between a parent and his/her child. Most importantly, make sure that children will be supervised in the homes they visit. Their friends’ parents should be clear about the expectations that have been set for one’s child.
Taking care of one’s own health and body, showing appreciation and desire for learning, and valuing education are crucial in being a positive role model for one’s children. Some helpful tips are: practice good conflict resolution skills, value listening over speaking, and have open and honest discussions. There are many resources that students can refer to, such as, teachers, counselors, coaches, mentors, and most importantly, the community.
Helping Temple City take a step towards a brighter and safer future, the forum informed parents, residents, and community leaders alike of tips on how to keep children away from gang violence and other serious troubles.
This article was written by Jackie Zhang. It was published in the Temple City Voice on March 19, 2008.