Gang activity increases, gets more violent

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Only a small fraction of Richmond County students were disciplined for gang activity this past school year, but the number grew and the activity became more vicious.

In all, 23 students were found guilty by disciplinary tribunals during the 2007-08 school year for violating the school system's code of conduct Rule 22, which forbids gang membership and gang activity. That's up from 15 a year ago for the school system of 32,000 students.

Students beat up their classmates as an initiation into gangs, beat up members as a way out of the gangs and beat up members of rival gangs -- all on Richmond County school campuses during class hours, according to testimony given during discipline hearings.

"These kids choose to be treated that way," said Executive Director for High Schools Lynn Warr, who was injured breaking up a gang fight in 2007 at Cross Creek High School. "That's what is shocking to me."

In February, two self-described members of the Crips forced a classmate into a restroom at the Academy of Richmond County, according to a school tribunal report. One gang member punched the student 12 times in the chest, and the other punched him three times until the student slumped over.

"The was punishment for the student inadvertently destroying the 'book of knowledge' for the 'Crips,' " a tribunal report said. "Also, he refused to procure $125.00 as instructed."

The gang activity is a reflection of the community, Ms. Warr said, and it's getting worse as students move in from other states and get ideas from watching television.

The attack was among several more brazen acts in Richmond County schools during the year.

"I think every one of them wants to outdo the other," Ms. Warr said. "They gain status by what they do, and they want to be the one."

The viciousness doesn't surprise Devon Harris, a local gang-prevention expert. He serves as executive director of Full Circle Refuge.

"That world is all about respect and disrespect," Mr. Harris said.

Ms. Warr said it's important for staff members to be aware of what is happening within their school, paying close attention to the colors that students wear and quashing gang activity before it takes root.

Mr. Harris said gangs flourish in a lack of awareness.

"We know it's there, but people are in denial," he said.

A tribunal called in January declined to find four Sego Middle School students guilty of violating the gang policy. Instead of pursuing the gang violation, it sent the case back to Sego to be handled by administrators at the school.

A month earlier, the four students had gone to a classroom, gotten a classmate and taken him to the restroom, where they punched and beat him. The student was "jumped in," a way of initiating the student into the gang.

The tribunal found that the students didn't understand the seriousness of their actions, so it allowed them to disband the gang.

Ms. Warr said kicking students out of school doesn't always solve the problem. Instead, it puts troubled students out on the street.

"Really, education is a way for them to get another life," she said.

But gangs are trying to recruit new members. In October, a Murphey Middle Charter School eighth-grader was removed from class for being disruptive. The public safety officer testified in the tribunal that the 14-year-old was actively trying to recruit new gang members at the school.

The student told her he didn't worry about the police or going to jail because his gang would "hold it down" while he was away.

These incidents come about a year after Operation Augusta Ink. In November 2007 law enforcement agencies completed a 16-month investigation that led to a cross-county roundup of gang members.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

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brianw
1
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brianw 06/27/09 - 04:20 am
0
0
This is the exact reason my

This is the exact reason my child will exit the public school system to attend some private school. Private institutions can kick these pieces of trash and their sorry parents out without blinking an eye.

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 06/27/09 - 04:57 am
0
0
And we use about $7,500.00

And we use about $7,500.00 per year in tax payers dollars to educate these little darlings....what a joke. The school system doesn't need more money, it needs parents that know what their kids are up to and help to raise them right at an early age and through their educational years. As for throwing the kids out of school, I agree that most likely they will just end up being a blight on society for quite some time. However, it isn't fair to the students simply going to school for an education to deal with these thugs who disrupt class and the school environment every day. Throw the bumbs out and do it quickly, the problems will greatly decrease and you will enable the ones who want to learn to actually do so...give them once chance at alternative school and if that doesn't work, maybe boot camp but after that, it is up to the parents not society to rectify these problems. Public shcools could be good again but not if they allow those who don't want to learn to continue walking the halls with those who are at school for the right reason. If we don't throw the bumbs out, we will just end up with many more bumbs.

Billy Shears
0
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Billy Shears 06/27/09 - 05:40 am
0
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Only 23 students in an entire

Only 23 students in an entire year? We can look in the "were you spotted" section of the AC at any event attended by teens and see more hand signals and colors than that. I appreciate the work the task force is doing, but let's get real y'all. Try taking a cruise down McCauley St one evening and count the number of young folks wearing white t-shirts and black pants/shorts - It's not just a coincidence y'all. Go 4 blocks over if you like red shirts. Blue is also available a short drive away.

devharris46
0
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devharris46 06/27/09 - 07:34 am
0
0
Check out the real solution -

Check out the real solution - www.fullcirclerefuge.org
Hit the link "Learn More"

From Devon Harris
Director
FCR Ministries

andywarhol
0
Points
andywarhol 06/27/09 - 07:41 am
0
0
They have a problem kicking

They have a problem kicking them out of school? So the good kids have to put up with them in class? I say it about 3x a week. I'm glad to be leaving Richmond Co this year.

redapples
660
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redapples 06/27/09 - 09:02 am
0
0
This is part of the root of

This is part of the root of the problem in public education...gangs substituting for "families." It is going to take brave, new initiative to really work toward solving this problem. And Columbia County folks don't think it's not here. It is creeping in and working hard to take hold...just ask local high school personnel.

colcamp1
10
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colcamp1 06/27/09 - 09:14 am
0
0
Dang, I just had on a white

Dang, I just had on a white tee shirt and black shorts. You learn something new every day./ Okay all you non gang members in the hood. In order not to be stereotyped, switch to plaid shorts, or teal, pink, yellow or so forth. You will not be mistaken for a gang member, maybe a golfer, but not a gang member.

TORTURE
0
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TORTURE 06/27/09 - 09:38 am
0
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Ok pupil fighting at

Ok pupil fighting at school,why does the news media,school officials and law enforcement report bias claims when a fighting incident occur at prominent black schools as gang related? So, what a few fighting incident occur during the school year but you best to believe that Richmond County Schools are the safest compare too other schools across the nation. I guess you would not want to send your kids to a school,Columbine High School, and be confront by a pupils wearing a trench coat with machine guns underneath and kill classmates for no reason.

cricketflea
3
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cricketflea 06/27/09 - 09:59 am
0
0
They have trouble kicking

They have trouble kicking them out of school????? Hard to believe!!! EXPELL the hoodlums! Make the security personel that are at the schools EARN their paychecks...when these EXPELLED hoodlums are seen on campus, call 911 and have them arrested! DUH! End of problem...Get tough people before it's too late.

perymason
0
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perymason 06/27/09 - 10:02 am
0
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Torture, by your writing

Torture, by your writing appears you missed school altogether!

Aliyah
1
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Aliyah 06/27/09 - 11:14 am
0
0
These little angels did not

These little angels did not know what they where doing.Hogwash.I say dicipline.If caught in anyform of aggressive behavior.Augusta,streets and roadways need to be upkept.These little angels are old enough to use a rake and a push lawmower.Also there parents can also help by paying for the medical bill of the person who was hurt.Also for the child that was hurt they can pay for privite schooling.Somebody needs to start taking action.A child by the age of 3 or 4 knows right and wrong if properly diciplined by the parents.

mosovich
792
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mosovich 06/27/09 - 11:22 am
0
0
Why not export them to

Why not export them to another country and let them see what it's all about.. Do you think that kid would have a new attitude if he was going to be exported to a prison in China or somewhere like that? Hmm, I sure he would.. Or finally get tough on prisoners here.. No hot meals anymore, only cold sardines everyday and NO A/C or heat... That'll get their attention!

class1
299
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class1 06/27/09 - 11:37 am
0
0
Allowing them to stay in

Allowing them to stay in school is a crazy solution. What about the education of the good students?

crackertroy
540
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crackertroy 06/27/09 - 11:42 am
0
0
No Child Left Behind is all
Unpublished

No Child Left Behind is all about keeping thugs in school, lest they be "left behind." They're all supposed to graduate by 2014.

Grasshopper
7
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Grasshopper 06/27/09 - 11:58 am
0
0
Why do people still refuse to

Why do people still refuse to acknowledge gangs in Augusta? Colcamp1, you don't live in the hood, and I bet you don't allow your daughter to hang out in the hood.

andywarhol
0
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andywarhol 06/27/09 - 12:20 pm
0
0
TORTURE, you're and example

TORTURE, you're and example of what I was saying on another thread about people in the CSRA thinking this stuff is normal and either it is safer here or you think it happens everywhere in the U.S. I go home to my parents house in IL and they still don't lock their doors and the keys are in the car all night. Schools are much safer elsewhere.

apex24
0
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apex24 06/27/09 - 12:22 pm
0
0
Colcamp, am I a racist by

Colcamp, am I a racist by asking what is the ratio of blacks to whites in these gangs? You never here from the media that 99% of these punks are black but by watching the local news it's obvious where the problem is. But God forbid if you say anything to so called black leaders about black gang crimes.

Grasshopper
7
Points
Grasshopper 06/27/09 - 12:27 pm
0
0
I don't know what CC has now,

I don't know what CC has now, but we had the Band Aid Crew in the day. Does anyone remember them? They thought they were hard listening to NWA, EazyE, and riding around in their low rider trucks. Thought they were cool to cruise Hardies, Starlight, and Putt Putt. Wonder why they didn't ever stop to have a beer at the Steel Mill. There tactic was to find someone and send a little guy to start a fight. Then they would all jump out and beat the crap out of someone. Finally they jumped the wrong person and needless to say got there butts stomped and their low riders trashed. I wouldn't know anything about it though!

christie
0
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christie 06/27/09 - 01:15 pm
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colcamp1, you're an idiot.

colcamp1, you're an idiot.

anotherday
46
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anotherday 06/27/09 - 02:21 pm
0
0
My husband was on a ride

My husband was on a ride along with some leaders from Ft Gordon and the RCSD and they told the group if your children or anyone else have problems with gangs or bullying we WILL investigate. We can even be called from school if the kids are not being taken serously.

Stormy1
0
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Stormy1 06/27/09 - 02:32 pm
0
0
This information sickens me!

This information sickens me! Gang members have no value for human life. The parents of these...people...are ignorant (uneducated) and haven't the tools to bring up responsible members of society. It is up to law enforcement! Get them out of the school system!! NOW!!!

storiesihaveread
358
Points
storiesihaveread 06/27/09 - 03:02 pm
0
0
These gangs here in Augusta

These gangs here in Augusta are nothing compared to the gangs in East LA known as La Eme now those are gangs to be concerned about and they are spreading across the U.S. with a strong hold in Atlanta already

colcamp1
10
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colcamp1 06/27/09 - 03:38 pm
0
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Wow Christie, how many of

Wow Christie, how many of your tiny little, none to spare, retarded brain cells did you use, to make your 1:15 PM comment?

colcamp1
10
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colcamp1 06/27/09 - 03:42 pm
0
0
Trey, I grew up in the SUNSET

Trey, I grew up in the SUNSET and returned with my Daughters and Son, alone with my Mother, Brothers and Sisters and their families, to a reunion there on June 20th. No problems with thousands attending. So, yes, my Daughters and Son are allowed to visit their cousins if they wish. I also spent my high school years in East Augusta while graduating with honors from the Academy of Richmond County.

lowellbrown
4
Points
lowellbrown 06/27/09 - 04:53 pm
0
0
Babysitting gangster clowns

Babysitting gangster clowns is a waste of the school system's time and resources, and it interferes with the over 90 percent of young people who want to learn. Are schools supposed to give the clowns extra time to straighten out and grow up?? Why? There are others, including youngsters with real behavioral and learning problems, who really need and deserve that extra time and effort. Some gangster babies are already being passed along through the system, so what's the point in keeping them? Boot 'em now and let the others learn.

Grasshopper
7
Points
Grasshopper 06/27/09 - 05:23 pm
0
0
Visit is the key word!

Visit is the key word!

christie
0
Points
christie 06/27/09 - 05:53 pm
0
0
Visit is the key word! posted

Visit is the key word! posted by Trey Milton on Sat. June 27, 2009 @ 5:23 lol, it sure is.

APiratesLife4Me
0
Points
APiratesLife4Me 06/27/09 - 06:42 pm
0
0
Nothing but WANNABES, all of

Nothing but WANNABES, all of them. Little hoods think they are bad with the "stare downs". Woooooo, I am scared. Punks!

Grasshopper
7
Points
Grasshopper 06/27/09 - 07:22 pm
0
0
Pirate I agree, got to get a

Pirate I agree, got to get a gun? Little punks scared of a butt whooping. Didn't they watch "Friday" Ice Cube Fought With His Hands!

freespeach
4
Points
freespeach 06/27/09 - 08:20 pm
0
0
It's a cultural thing...these
Unpublished

It's a cultural thing...these kids come from a culture where personal responsibility and respect for others are not valued. Too often, fathers have not taken responsibility for their children and they are missing from the home. The mothers don't value marriage or waiting to have sex until marriage. They tend to view the world, particularly the government, as owing them. It is a culture of entitlement. The government will not change their culture. That has to come from their families and their community. Let's quit treating these kids and their parents as victims and let's start holding them accountable for their actions. Maybe then, they will learn personal responsibility and respect for others. All people are created equal but all cultures are not equal. Some cultures are better than others. You can tell based on the values of the people in the culture and their corresponding behavior.

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