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August 19th, 2010
12:58 PM ET

Survey: Gang presence increasing in public schools

Nearly a third of students aged 12 to 17 in public schools say their schools are "infected" with both gangs and drugs, according to a survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA).

According to the report, 66 percent of high school students said their schools were drug-infected, a steep increase from last year when 51 percent said their schools had drugs. In the newest survey, one in three middle-schoolers say drugs are used, kept, or sold at their school. Last year, 23 percent of children in middle school said they had drugs in their school.

Joseph Califano, founder and chairman of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, said it's not clear what's behind those steep increases, except that "wherever there are gangs, there are drugs, it's pretty safe to say."

The report found that children who go to schools where both gangs and drugs are present are five times more likely to smoke marijuana, 12 times more likely to smoke, and near five times more likely to have a friend or classmate who uses drugs such as acid, cocaine, or heroin.

In the study, there were vast differences between public schools and private and religious schools. Nearly half – 46 percent – of teens at public schools reported the presence of gangs in their schools, compared with  2 percent of teens at private and religious schools.

"We have to get the gangs out," Califano said. "We cannot improve education in public schools where there are gangs and drugs."

Califano said parents need to be their kids' best advocates.

"Parents really need to raise hell," he said. "If there were asbestos, they wouldn't send their kids to school until every particle of dust were cleaned up. If they had a job and there were gangs at work, they wouldn't go."

Dr. Janet Williams, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Abuse, agreed that parental involvement is key to teenagers succeeding in an environment riddled with high risk behaviors.

"Educational standards are higher where parents are involved," said Williams.

She recommended that parents stay engaged in their teenager's life. That means asking questions if several elements of their personality start to change and supporting a teenager's passions.

"Really good parenting has a lot to do with noticing the good," said Williams. "Help them recognize what they want to do, what their passion is."

"You want them to feel proud of who they are... so they maintain respect for themselves and others."

- CNN Medical Associate Producer Caitlin Hagan contributed to this report.


soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. nomasir

    Is it any wonder that parents who can choose to remove their kids from public school are doing so? The system set up to ensure that a good education is available to all has actually created a stratification of education levels – with the wealthy once again on top (shocker). For me, I tend to prefer homeschooling: http://bethsaidafigtree.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/the-hearts-of-fathers-and-children-round-2-education/

    August 20, 2010 at 23:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Surthurfurd

    Our society is broken and the problems are coming into the classroom. At the same time our culture has continued (both the Left and Right) to strip teachers of authority. Teachers have been begging for more authority in their classroom. Until you are willing to grant this authority; you will be just supporting bullying, violence, and gangs in school. You will also be responsible for opposing raising our academic standards.

    August 20, 2010 at 23:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. OhWell

    Oh Well.... now the rich kids have to deal with it.... So Good... i'm glad they have to deal with this problem and maybe someone will pay attention

    August 20, 2010 at 23:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shawn

      How do you know the "rich kids are dealing with it"? Because the picture accompanying this story shows three white kids?

      The pic is 3/4 white because the MSM doesn't want you to recognize racial realities, e.g., the disproportionate representation of non-whites among violent criminals.

      August 21, 2010 at 00:06 | Report abuse |
  4. Johnny Five

    So doctors think parents are key and important to raising children by being involved? What loonies! They want parents to shut their minds and mouths when it comes to vaccinations or medical care, but when their kids go to the same school as their patients, they want parental involvment? Wow.

    August 20, 2010 at 23:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ct

    It would also help if kids new that drugs are not good, instead of saying "I want some!" like an idiot.

    August 21, 2010 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. hmmsketch

    Once people realize that teachers are not just teachers, then we'll start to see some differences. Because of the extraordinary demands we place on teachers, they end up wearing so many different hats – educator, babysitter, psychiatrist, security guard, social worker, surrogate parent, etc. They are not paid to do all of those things, but that's what so many of us expect form them. When we pay teachers fairly and give them proper professional development then we'll see improvements. We'll be able to weed out bad teachers because there will be better teachers more willing to take that job for fairer pay and benefits.

    Taxpayers need to realize that their taxes are not just going to funding public education, they're funding public safety. Good teachers can pull a slipping student back from the brink, not everyone, but some. Students who can't read at grade level by 6th grade are twice as likely to drop out. Students who drop out are 3 times more likely to end up in jail. See the connection? Better students mean less gangs, less crime, less drugs, and less poverty. Instead of letting the 1million dropouts annually continue to slip through the cracks and just build more prisons and hire more prison guards to deal with them, why not solve the problem way back when they're children? It'll save us money in the long run, it'll improve our economy with more qualified workers, and it'll save our society from so much of the violence and destruction that we hate so much.

    August 21, 2010 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. PARROT

    I BET THE GANGS ARE FROM OHIO...!!!

    August 21, 2010 at 00:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. kat

    Education is the key for our kids no matter what race they are. But what is scary is they will be old in time and who will run this country since these kids are not being raised right. I grew up in the 70's life was simply then. No cell phones, computers, stupid tv shows. Heck, Brady Bunch was good enough. Them times was great. So help us God when these kids become adults and politicians.

    August 21, 2010 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • '_'

      I'm speaking of the Mexican based gangbangers, you know the ones that date in existence back to like the forties, the post Zoot Suit veteranos, the Lowriders.. so in the 70's, the golden years of the gangbangers, sure, in popular culture like TV you didn't see these thugs nor did you see them on Kojak or as criminals in Barnaby Jones but they were out there. Just not glorified like the geeks glorify them by placing them in everything from music videos to video games, because you know, that those Comicon geeks love glorifying negative role models for their own amusement thus injecting that glorification into popular culture.

      August 21, 2010 at 04:19 | Report abuse |
  9. Accuteknj

    It is not easy to raise kids the way parents wish they could, poverty has nothing to do with gangs, drugs, etc. The upbringing of a child starts at home. Parents with low income and struggling to support their children lack self steem and also lack initiatives on how to raise a child. On the other hand, children as they grow older do have a tendency to do what they think is always right for them and have no fear of their parents. A parents right to discipline by punishing their children is non existing now days as fear to get arrested under child abuse charges are always a deterrent to use old punishment methods. We need to inspire on our kids the desire to excel in life but, at the same time we need to make them fear about being punished when rules and regulations are broken. This may be old, antiquated methods but, guess what, it still being used worldwide and it works.....

    August 21, 2010 at 00:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Nate Mo

    "If" they had a job. That is the key word. Most the parents of gang members probably don't have a job

    August 21, 2010 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Loco

    Gang and drugs in school? Is this new? Like others have said, use drug sniffing dogs to get rid of the drugs at least. When I was in Jr.High, there were some students that were dealing drugs in the class room. The teachers just ignored it. They too afraid to do anything. This got to stop.

    August 21, 2010 at 01:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Cason

    Here's a solution to the gang problem.. strangle them by their wallets i.e. legalize drugs.

    August 21, 2010 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Geo

    First offense at "selling and using" – rat out the dealers.
    Put the dealers in jail – twenty year minimum.
    Second offense – life in another country.

    August 21, 2010 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Real Mickey

    It's called the Black Market, and most of you American people either try to completely ignore it, or are completely satisfied exploiting it for selfish reasons... We've tolerated the removal of order from our education systems and have taken the honor of God out of the classroom... Look... How many sick guys out there are scoping at 17 year-old girls , trying to groom them or take advantage of them for lustful reasons... Parents, too often, don't realize how sexualized their 5 and 6 year old may be.. If not their own, then the one's they are going to school with.. The one's they communicate with better, the one they form loyalties too.. The economy is destroyed because of that pattern, a bunch of idiots in suits turning their backs on the one's who have tried to stand up for equal rights and justice!!! Come on, America, Please, turn the tide, wake up.. Stop the idolatry, obsession, paranoia, ignorance, conspiracy, and idiocy!! We have got to look at it for what it is and FIX IT for all of us, fix it for fixing it's sake!!

    August 21, 2010 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cason

      Being attracted to a 17 YO Woman isn't bad. It's a part of life. They don't magically become more attractive once they hit 18. Our bodies can't dictate age.

      August 21, 2010 at 01:31 | Report abuse |
  15. flatoutwrongWRONG

    flatoutwrong....you are wrong. I would not say you are completely wrong....but not everyone who has had the joy of poverty is lazy, makes poor choices, and spitting out babies like Jiffy Pop on the burner. Sometimes the joy of poverty is produced when and employer becomes greedy, inconsiderate, selfish, and just plain lacks compassion. So a good moral considerate person gets the pleasure of searching for a job/jobs that are not so readily available at this most wonderful time in our lives! Don't pretend you know every f'ing individual enjoying POVERTY!

    August 21, 2010 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Chris

    As it has already been mentioned, gangs are heavily comprised of minority children/teens; you just don't have groups of white kids wearing colors and getting gold teeth. As for drugs in public schools, this isn't anything new; I would venture marijuana is the main proponent of this "drug epidemic" and that's pretty laughable as it is mostly harmless.

    August 21, 2010 at 01:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • hmmsketch

      That is more of a consequence of poverty than it is of race. Have-nots stick together and will do anything to find their own authority. As for white kids not being part of gangs, maybe you just forget when poor white kids came from Ireland and Italy to the US. Perhaps you've forgotten about one of the deadliest and most pervasive gangs in American history, the Mafia.

      August 21, 2010 at 01:27 | Report abuse |
  17. mark spalenka

    Having read all responses to the article, "Gang presence increasing in public schools" CNN Survey August 19, 2010 as well as the article itself I have to say many are identifying symptoms of a core problem. The few solutions offered are not going to work or work effectively. Gangs are a symptom of a core problem. Drugs, their prolific use and sale, are a symptom of yet another core problem. Not one person has mentioned identity theft in this equation. What!? you say identity theft? Yes. Individuals reentering high school, middle school and other to create a new or alternate identification. This is part of the problem that creates gangs. Because you have persons of older ages, (some maybe encouraged with parent support) who are covering the same material. Their interest is to create friends and create friendships to manage their own circle of friends and not so much to study. Is age verification going on at schools today? Please, do not mention the Birth Certificate as a 100 percent method to identify age. I am talking biological age here. Daily biological identification and age of students and comparison to past students and other schools should be required in our modern times.
    There are other factors that I have not mentioned, technologies that have been created and put in use to augment a persons thinking. What!? Tell me you do not know of this! Low frequencies and electromagnetic energies pulsed at certain rates can change a persons behavior and thinking but affect them without the person knowing they are being subjected to it. Use of these technologies can create gangs, need for drugs, obesity, forgetfulness, headaches and more.
    Where are these technologies? They can be created in your home or school or automobile. Pretty much any place that has electricity flowing or in use. Some of this has been around since the 1930s.

    Research the use of drugs before they were considered illegal. Note the activities of the people during those times and the performance of school students. Then you will find the appropriate answer to what to do with drugs and their use or enforcement. Minorities are picked on because many stereo types are enforced in our society. Tolerance for other ethnic groups should be the Golden Rule in our Nation of Immigrants but not always practiced.

    Other areas of concern, corruption in our schools and school districts. What? You say that everybody is honest? Many are honest. Are there teachers who use more than one name or identity. Are there teachers who are teaching at more that one school under different names. Biological identity should be practiced at the teacher and administrative level, daily.

    Let's see, should I go on? Introducing students to a University and college curriculum on their campuses at 14, 15, 16 and 17 years of age? Every age I mentioned the person (boy or girl) is going through tremendous life and biological changes that modify their behavior and view on the world. Pushing these teens into the adult world can be harmful to their emotional growth. You want to introduce college and university level academics to those youth then bring the teaching to their school where they are learning with those of similar age. This runs counter to many states who want these youths to enter the college to get a jump on their Associates or Bachelors degree. You are only young once and once that innocence is taken away the innocence does not return.

    Should I go on? Let's see. Cell phones. How did we ever live without them? There is technology that turns off cell phone communications, meant for theaters originally. This would be useful for teachers to just flip a switch and turn off all texting and cell phone communication. A student should not dividing their attention in class. The instructor is where the attention should be centered on.
    There is more, if the technology I mentioned earlier has been applied to a person they maybe 'sensitive' to certain words, pictures and motions. So, clothing in schools should have no messages or advertisements on them. No words on shirts. No pictures on shirts. No advertisement messages. Once again, this goes counter to what most of America's Schools allow. And that is because most educators are ignorant of the technology and symptoms of their use.
    Sleep and nap time should be brought back into schools. Sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on learning.
    I have identified some of the problems and likely reasons for problems in many schools in America. If the parent is subject to some of these technologies their behavior can be modified.
    I do not favor ruining the future of our Nation with negative or derogatory behavior in school. If there is a need for law enforcement at any pre-college level school there is most likely a problem. There should be no need for Law Enforcement in these schools.
    That is enough for now.

    August 21, 2010 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cason

      For the *most* part, drugs do have a significant effect on gangs and their presence/power. Though gangs do not stem from drugs, much of their power does. It is the source of income, a primary reason people are drawn to gang life. If you eliminate the cause, you rid your self of the effect. We need to stop fighting the symptoms of our dangerous society and destroy the disease.

      August 21, 2010 at 01:37 | Report abuse |
  18. ProblInTucson

    You "Boys" don't live in a area where you can see what he IS talking about IS TRUE. NOT RACIST

    August 21, 2010 at 01:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Andy

    What a mess of a problem. Maybe if there was more school funding for after hours activities....

    – A

    August 21, 2010 at 01:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Calvin Hobbes

    Even the guys I knew in school at the top of the azzhole list knew better than to let anyone in a gang in school. If they found anyone they beat the living crap out of them until bones broke and no one ever said anything. A few azzholes who came in with all the gang crap talk and handguns left in an ambulance, never to be seen in school again. As for the neighborhood, after a house burns down a couple of times, insurance isn't so eager to pay it off anymore, again none of the neighbors were stupid enough to ever say anything. Let that be a lesson to any of these wimpy liberal jerks who just stands around bemoaning everything while causing the problem.

    August 21, 2010 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mark

      amen
      they don't mess with me when I give them a peek of my 357.

      August 21, 2010 at 03:07 | Report abuse |
  21. dublin

    teenage girls like bad boys and teenage boys will do pretty much anything to get laid

    August 21, 2010 at 01:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Mom of Three

    Can we please, PLEASE learn to spell "heroin" in this country? I am so done with seeing it spelled like a female hero!

    August 21, 2010 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ted

      Thanks,Mom, that also drives me nuts!

      August 24, 2010 at 22:40 | Report abuse |
  23. Al

    Where I live theres no major gang activity but if a gang shows up in my neighborhood I will fight back using unfair guerrilla warfare tactics because to me gangs are just domestic terrorists and have no rights.

    August 21, 2010 at 02:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. mark

    It's the problem of our laws and so called politicians. They dont' want to cure anything. If they speak out against a certain sect of socieity that may lose them an election in votes. We don't have that problem in my area. We have all banded together to take control of our streets. We profile day in and day out. If you are not known, you are asked in a nice manner to keep moving on down the road. The people of this town would carve up any gang group in a matter of seconds. These are hard core law abiding citizens. Like Harry said "you feel lucky punk"? Well, do ya?

    August 21, 2010 at 03:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. '_'

    I'm reading all these responses but all are pretty much a failure at offering solutions. Its not the politicians, its not some biological thing, although the gangbanger thing certainly feels like it is biological because its like in the blood, in the genes, I'm half joking but it makes you wonder.

    I'll be very upfront, not the best grammar here but you'll get the point...

    The Mexican based gangbanger/thug problem will never end. It won't because its cultural. Its so imbedded as part of their lifestyle and who they are that its nearly an impossible thing to eradicate. I've always considered gangs as social cancers and its true, no one really raises hell especially in the schools and communities and families that breed these trouble makers. They are and always have been urban terrorists in my view.

    But that deep seeded acceptance in the Mexican American community of the existence and sometimes encouragement of gang bangers is a touch-y issue. Because barriers are thrown up claiming racism and brown this brown people that stand in the way of actually fixing this problem. I mean, you have to infiltrate them from within like a disease in order to end gangs. I also describe them as Mexican because you don't find gangbangers in say, Bolivia... or Costa Rica and if you did there have been instances for example in parts of Central America where they were hunted down and dealt with before destroying other countries with that crap.

    But aside from that our pop cultural encourages the thug/gang glorification and problem. There is an element of gangbanger thuggery pervasive in almost everything from popular music ie gangstarap, to video games, to movies, TV shows, etc and once crap like that is glorified, kids follow it and down a path of self destruction. They aren't media literate enough to separate fantasy from real life tragedy.

    I always shake my head at stories of "reformed" "ex-gang members" doing positive things, but in reality, thats just show. You can alway spot them, they have a vibe or as I call it spanish a "pinta" of a gang member, they aren't changed, once their in, its for life as they say, regardless of what you think they are doing positive.

    I know its depressing, I know its rather pessemistic, but in reality, gang problems are really, really tough to solve. I'll repeat it until I'm blue – its cultural. Mexican immigrants look the other way once their kids start dressing like gangbangers, they can't identify one, they just turn the other cheek, they do nothing to change or save their kids. The children start drawing sad clowns like the illustrations you see in Lowrider magazine, all that gangbanger imagery etc.

    I mean, look at that magazine, blatant gang banger culture glorified. That Art Laboe radio show is all about sending "oldies" dedicated to Sad Clown from Spanky or Casper in La Habra. I'm serious, you think I'm writing out crazy stuff, but you don't know what its really like. And thats the other problem, you, the disconnected, fooled ones that over think it, or dont understand the subculture or accept that its cultural.

    And its amazing to me – its 2010, and we still have this old, tired, dated, unproductive, pathetic, problem. Its so pervasive that you can find some appalling videos even in YouTube, right underneath their noses, gangbangerism.

    August 21, 2010 at 04:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LooneyBin

      All rhetoric, all bigotry, no substance, no facts, NO PROOF.

      August 21, 2010 at 21:50 | Report abuse |
  26. '_'

    It won't end. Here's proof – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlTRvY8V5Zo

    August 21, 2010 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. BullshitDetector

    I meant to specify that I was addressing 'teacher1."

    August 21, 2010 at 04:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Bill

    Bob's just mad 'cause he has a tiny penis.

    August 21, 2010 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Toby

    Having attended California public schools in San Francisco and also Oakland, I can say without hesitation or error that there are no white, caucasian gangs whatsoever in those school systems. So there you have it-for whatever reason, minority gangs are the issue, and by extension the minorities themselves. Certainly not ALL blacks, hispanics, or asians are in gangs or are even criminal, but we know that the vast majority of those IN gangs are indeed these groups. Read from this what you will, but the simple fact is that certain people in the minorities listed above are creating all the problems.

    August 21, 2010 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. David

    More and more, I'm reading about the necessity of parent involvement in schools. It's being said that schools are failing because there isn't enough parent involvement. This is faulty reasoning. It's a red herring.

    Volunteering in your child's classroom is encouraged and welcomed, but not necessary. Sitting on the school's site council or attending meetings is encouraged and welcomed, but not necessary. Being a member of the PTA is encouraged and welcomed, but not necessary.

    What is necessary is for parents to engage in behaviors and practices generally recognized as supporting the healthy physical, emotional and intellectual development of children, and reject behaviors and practices generally recognized as disrupting the healthy physical, emotional and intellectual development of children.

    For example:

    Don't abuse drugs or alcohol. Chemically impaired parents are a source of embarrassment, shame, stress and violence for children.

    Do let your children experience the logical consequences of their actions, if it's safe.

    Do praise your children when they deserve it.

    Read to your children.

    Ignore your children if they throw a tantrum.

    Do set a good example for your children. Don't hold one sibling up as an example to another. In other words, don't say, "Why can't you be more like your sister?" Along the same lines, never draw comparisons between your child and another family member who may be a poor role model. In other words, never say, "You're just like your no-good jailbird dad!"

    Don't excuse or make excuses for your child's poor behavior.

    Don't threaten punishments you are unwilling or incapable of carrying out, and don't fail to carry out a punishment when it's called for.

    Severely restrict all television viewing.

    Make your children aware of their strengths. Do have high expectations for your children's behavior and achievement, and communicate them clearly.7

    Don't ever tell your children that they're stupid, ugly, good for nothing, worthless, etc.

    Introduce your children to media that portrays honesty, sacrifice, loyalty, perseverance, modesty, love, humility, courage, courtesy, respect and reverence.

    Do check their homework religiously and be there for them when they need help with schoolwork and projects. Do hold education and hard work in the highest esteem.

    Don't physically, emotionally, sexually, verbally or psychologically abuse your children.

    Take your children to the library regularly.

    Don't bribe your children in order to elicit good behavior.

    Don't label your children - the good one, the wild one, the talented one, the smart one, the lazy one, etc.

    Do use the best manners and train your children to follow your example.

    Love your children, and express that love frequently in little ways. Hugs, caresses, a smile, a hand on the shoulder can often communicate feelings more effectively than words.

    And finally, be ever mindful of what is best for children, and understand that if that is not provided, there may be grave consequences. What is best for children is that they be raised in an intact home with married parents who engage in the best parenting behaviors and practices.

    August 21, 2010 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. jimboe

    Gangs do not do acid.

    August 21, 2010 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Alan

    Thank you ACLU, federal judges, and Democrats for the fine job you have done destroying the country over the past fifty years! Now it is just accelerating under the current Obama Aeministration.

    August 21, 2010 at 18:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Joe

    Even more reason why we need to stop illegal immigration. Most of these gang members are children of illegal immigrants. Don't believe me? Just look at our prisons, they are mostly filled with Mexicans. The democrats do NOT represent Americans, they represent Mexico!

    August 21, 2010 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Exodus

    God does not recognize any type of Rights of Gays/Homosexuals/Tranvestites.

    If you take a walk into the Bible scriptures, you can read it for your self what God says about homosexuals, and that also includes lesbians. Males and Females are turning to the same sex for happiness/intimacy because they know not what they are doing. They are in a state of mind in their mind sets of confusions.

    You can say what you want to say about Men/Women Gay Rights, but in the sight of God's Eyes, He does not recognize and or even acknowledges gay rights. They have NO RIGHTS TO GET MARRIED.

    I don't care what State and or Country they are from. God ONLY recognizws a Man & Woman in marriage.

    August 22, 2010 at 03:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. confussedd

    I worked in public school. Does anyone who does this research understant how hard it is to suspend a kid from school let alone kick them out. Legal problems, gang members with Special Education rights, schools worried to death about a discrimination lawsuit if a minority has to be responsible for bad behavior. Parents who are not in control of their kids but expect the school to be. Lawyers run the system and the school counters with paperwork, selling out and doing anything that our politicians who are often lawyers come up with. The Presidents "Race for the top" is another example of the sell out. Schools are only as good as the community and some communities are terrible.

    August 22, 2010 at 07:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. warsteiner

    If the government would stop messing around they could order the end of the gangs and send in the military to take their guns and drugs and jail the bastards so that they can not influence kids any longer.

    August 22, 2010 at 07:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. sstressed

    hispanic gang members number in the 10s of thousands. illegal hispanics number in the millions (12? 14? million most of them mexican). i'll bet the left sees no correlation! it's a disgrace that we have allowed this to happen to our society.

    August 22, 2010 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. gary

    Well just tell me why are you posting decent looking white people in a classroom when we all know the gang problems stem from blacks or latinos. I see this all the time portraying white people when it is a black problem.

    August 22, 2010 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. CityofCorruption

    Increasing in public schools? Try – HAVE TAKEN OVER!! Anybody can come to Chicago , stand outside of a public school (high AND GRAMMAR) and see these kids: throwing up gang signs and wearing their colors! AND it is hell trying to kick these "kids" out because "they" are the ones who are protected – NOT the students who come to class to learn in this environment. If these "politicians" had their kids in public schools and not a private school, they would know about this. Obama SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS FIRST HAND since he lived in Chicago (oooopss, his daughters went to the ubber rich Univeristy of Chicago's Lab School) AND the education secretary should also know about this (ooopss sorry again, he is Mayor Daleys cousin-n-law and has his children in private schools). So, you see, if it AIN'T AFFECTING THEM, the hell with US who have children going to school in this environment!

    August 22, 2010 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. gary

    Are the white students you are portraying in this article victims or gang members ?

    August 22, 2010 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. TheTruth

    The only reason gangs even exist is because of prohibition. Gangs fund themselves primarily through narcotic sales, and use kids under 18 to hold/sell the drugs. Without prohibition, gangs would nearly ceast to exist outside some minor income sources such as prostitution, illegal gambling, loan sharking, etc. All one has to do is look at alcohol prohibition and the number of gangs/cartels/mafias it created.

    The answer to rid our society of gangs and the violence associated with them is through prohibition. No liquor store owners commit drive by shootings of rival liquor store owners. No liquor store owners initiate high school kids to sell booze for them.

    People will always want to use drugs, that's juts a given. Demand will ALWAYS exist, as will supply. The only answer is to legalize and regulate drugs, eliminating the gangs in America, the cartels in Mexico and South America, and all of the violence associated with them. Not to mention if drugs were cheap and pure, addicts wouldn't be overdosing as often (they'd know exactly how much they're taking) and they wouldn't be committing petty crimes to fund their addiction. We need to take a look at history books and realize that prohibition has, and always will never fail. Gangs only exist because of the black market created by prohibition.

    August 22, 2010 at 20:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Trey McK

    <
    Dude, are you aware white teenagers use and abuse drugs at higher rates than minority kids? Are you aware suburban teenagers are now running in gangs? Do some research before you type.

    August 22, 2010 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. American

    I guess the only solution is to setup concentration death camps and get rid of the humans in this country that are a waste of time.

    August 23, 2010 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. American

    I wish we could create a final solution, only way is to setup death camps

    August 23, 2010 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Woozle

      Great. We'll start with you and your kind. Long time overdue.

      August 27, 2010 at 11:46 | Report abuse |
  45. Ted

    Why don't journalists learn to spell- there's no "E" on the end of heroin.

    August 24, 2010 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Mark

    The National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) has a long history of presenting factually erroneous and highly inflated statistics to promote its agenda.

    http://alcoholfacts.org/CASAAlcoholStatisticsAbuse.html

    August 25, 2010 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.