Adults worry about roving bands of violent youth
City officials met Wednesday to combat adolescent bullying and gangs, the Spanish-language daily reports.
Teachers, social workers, police officers, lawyers, and social organizations voiced their concerns in a conference, where they explained that bullying and gang activity had worsened in the last year.
Deanna Rodriguez, a lawyer and head of the anti-gang unit of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, told the paper that it’s very important to understand that this isn’t just a Latino or African-American issue.
“It’s a problem that’s in all communities, in all schools, and especially in New York,” she said.
Tania Romero, a social worker at Flushing International High School, said she participated in the forum to find new ways of dealing with bullying and gangs.
“Incidences of violence have increased a lot this year,” she told the paper.
She said that adolescents who have trouble in school are not necessarily gang members, but that they “have friends who are part of gangs and go to them for aid and help, and that’s how the problem escalates.”
Also, she told the newspaper, that “gangs and violence are not exclusively a problem in schools, but that they problems are connected to the community and the neighborhood.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 7, 2011