FORSYTH COUNTY, NC (WGHP) – Forsyth County Commissioners have started pushing for a clear path forward and clear visions on after-school programs to reduce youth gang crime.
On Monday, Forsyth Future revealed the results of an assessment to the Forsyth County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council and focused on gangs within the community and school district.
The assessment found that 10 percent of high school students reported the presence of gangs inside their schools, while 2-3 percent reported it in college.
“We also had a small number of students, out of three thousand, who said they were involved in a gang. I think it was only a few dozen, ”explained Adam Hills of Forsyth Future.
The assessment looked at crime trends and statistics within city and county law enforcement agencies. It also included a survey of more than 3,000 students are more than a dozen schools.
The assessment found that Hispanic students are three times more likely to be suspended from school than white students, and black students are seven times more likely. Being out of school opens the way for gangs to try and recruit them.
Two percent of the students also said they carried a weapon, however, the survey did not specify where they carried these weapons.
In addition to a student survey, Forsyth Future also interviewed 29 county community leaders. The content described by these people revealed that in order to overcome gang violence, there must be a clear path forward, more extracurricular activities, a clear leader of initiatives, and a way to show students that there is a life after school.
Another rejected initiative was more school resource officers, but a handful of county commissioners rejected the idea.
“The long term goal cannot be to find a way out of the gang violence problem… we need to consider spending our money on more business rather than more law enforcement,” said Commissioner Tonya McDaniel.
Another avenue discussed was to extend the opening hours of leisure centers.
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