Gangs in Schools
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School Safety Center

Gangs in Schools

With the presence of gangs in our communities come concerns about drugs, crime, and potential violence. The same concerns are raised about the presence of gangs in our schools.

A Gangs in Schools Task Force was created under RCW 28A.320.490 to examine current adult and youth gang activities that are affecting school safety. The Task Force works under the guidance of the Superintendent of Public Instruction School Safety Center, the School Safety Center Advisory Committee, and the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (

The Task Force is comprised of representatives, selected by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, who possess expertise relevant to gang activity in schools. The Task Force is charged with outlining methods for preventing new gangs, eliminating existing gangs, gathering intelligence, and sharing information about gang activities.

Gangs in Schools Task Force

State Law on Gangs in Schools

Awareness and Response Presentations


Changing Course: Preventing Gang Membership CDC, NIJ: (Full text)
Executive Summary (20 pages) Youth gang membership is a serious and persistent problem in the United States. One in three local law enforcement agencies report youth gang problems in their jurisdictions.1 One in four high school freshmen report gangs in their schools. In acknowledgment of these realities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) formed a partnership to publish this book.

Strategies to Address Gang Activity: Suppression, Intervention and Prevention is a 2010 collection of strategies to address gang activity which was put together at the request of a Washington State law enforcement agency experiencing moderate to severe gang activity.

Understanding Youth Gangs: A Guide for Parents
A two-page brochure and available in several languages for parents to download and for schools to print and distribute.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: Gang Resources
Click on "Publications" for news, best practices, and more. Click on "Events" for professional development opportunities.

Maryland State Model Gang Policy, 2011 (PDF)
A major component of Maryland’s Safe Schools Act of 2010 was the requirement for the Maryland State Board of Education and State Department of Education to develop a model state policy to address gangs and gang activity in schools.

Responding to Gangs in the School Setting - National Gang Center Bulletin, November 2010 (PDF)
Gangs are present in many schools in the United States.

Parents Guide to Gangs – OJJDP (PDF)
Research indicates that parents play a pivotal role in keeping young people out of gangs.

Understanding Youth Gangs in Yakima County – City of Yakima and ESD 105 (PDF)
Parents play a crucial role in keeping their children out of gangs.

Links to Additional Online Resources

The National Gang Center – OJJDP, BJA
The National Gang Center Web site features the latest research on gangs, evidence-based, anti-gang programs, and links to tools, databases, and other resources.

Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC)
The WASPC Work Group on Gang-Related Crime was created by the Washington State Legislature in the 2007 to coordinate a group gang experts to evaluate gang-related crime in our state.



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Safety Center


   Updated 8/6/2015

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