Hayward High Schools Battle Gang Violence On Campus

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Students at Hayward High School LibraryAfter recent fights involving students and adult gang-members in Hayward, Calif., the local school board and high school principals met to discuss their continued fight against gang violence in their schools.

Mt. Eden, Hayward and Tennyson high schools all have a policy that ban wearing gang colors, however the three principals disagree on how to enact that policy in face of an increasing number of gang affiliated colors and system-savvy students, reports the Oakland Tribune.

Red, blue, yellow, white and black all have been associated with gangs at his high school, said Thomas Fraser, principal at Tennyson High. George Bullis, principal of Hayward High chooses to enforce the color ban only on students who have a history of “less positive activities.”

Several member of the school board disagreed with this approach, including trustees William McGee and Jesus Armas.

The Oakland Tribune reports:

Armas stressed that they need to avoid practices that could be viewed as profiling, and added that having different policies at each campus “compromises the message.”

To make schools safer, Trustee Luis Reynoso suggested bringing drug-sniffing dogs to the campus for random checks. He also said metal detectors could be used and more disruptive students expelled.

“There is no reason why a learning environment should put up with that behavior,” he said.

Along with stronger enforcement of the rules, the school district hopes to entice students away from gang life by emphasizing positive behavior reinforcement and increasing the number of staff members equipped to help.

Hayward High has benefited from the temporary addition of a sixth campus supervisor, Bullis said, and Mt. Eden’s three assistant principals are a “tremendous help” said Principal Jon Lorimer.

Bullis said additional counselors on campus also would be a valuable asset.

“Many students face situations we never faced in high school, and still go to class,” he said. “We need to provide additional support.”

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