Prevention in Schools
Creating a Safe Haven
Katherine De Vito, DSW, LCSW
Graffiti shown on the wall of the Jose Ramon Montoya school in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, which represents MS-13 and 18 other neighborhood gangs. Source: AP Photo/Esteban Felix, Albuquerque Journal
Young people might be attracted to the flashy lifestyle.
Young people look for a sense of belonging.
No Other Option: Young people may feel that joining a gang is their only choice.
Gang-involved Family & Friends:
Can heavily sway a decision to join.
Safety and Security:
Young people may join a gang for protection.
A community mourns a young man killed in gang violence.
Source: East Coast Gang Investigators Association
His mother did not want anything gang-related at her son's memorial, sending the strong message that senseless gang violence needs to stop.
Source: Chris LaChall/Courier Post
Special Agent Torres recounts the young man's story to students during a Gang Awareness presentation.
What can school staff do?
School staff can provide attachment, hope, opportunities, and consistency. Schools can be a safe haven for young people in a threatening world.