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September 21, 2005

Gangs and School Violence Forum Notes

This evening's Gangs and School Violence Forum was quite interesting. Rafael organized an excellent panel. We'll post a link to video and audio files when they are complete. Following are links to local articles and commentary on this event:

  • Cristina Daglas:
    Yudice said there has been a "huge development in the area of Latino gangs" in Madison specifically, and Blue noted an increase in girls in gangs.

    "We have seen a great surge in activity," Yudice said.

    All of the panelists offered ideas to help reduce the problem in Madison's high schools, including limiting off-campus privileges and continuing consistent enforcement against gang colors and clothing in schools.

    "It's really easy to slip out a door," said Madison Memorial High School Principal Bruce Dahmen. "It's important that we have high expectations for all the children."

  • Reader Jared Lewis emailed this:
    If you need any assistance regarding information about gangs in Madison or resources for schools to tackle the gang problem, feel free to contact me or visit my website at

    I am a former California police officer and a nationally recognized gang expert. I now reside in Jefferson County and continue to teach law enforcement officers, educators and social service workers about dealing with gang problems nationwide.

  • Natalie Swaby
    Students and parents listened during a Wednesday night meeting and took notes, a move in the right direction according to Officer Moore.

    "Last year they were telling me there was no gang issue in or around any of our schools, I was told that by the administration here," he says. "So this is something that is really great for me that we are finally acknowledging that we do have gang issues."

    There are resources for at risk youth in the Madison area, but many on the panel stressed that a unified strategic plan is needed.

    Officer Moore also strongly suggested that the High Schools eliminate their open campus policy.
  • Sandy Cullen:
    Blue and other panelists attributed the increase in gang activity to a growing number of students who feel a disconnection with their school and community, and with adults who care about them.

    "We're getting a wake-up call that says certain parts of our community are not healthy," Blue said.

Forum video and audio archive

Posted by Jim Zellmer at September 21, 2005 10:40 PM
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