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Posted by Mark.D.Carlos
My oldest son started middle school this year (Cal Middle School). Today, an "incident" happened which, before I speak with the school administration, might warrant a police perspective.
My son wore white tennis shoes with white laces, white socks, red shorts, and a red T-shirt with white lettering saying "Home Run" and a decal of a baseball. Early in the school morning, he was stopped by a security guard (assigned that role by the school) who apparently made reference to the fact that he was wearing gang colors/clothes, and that he could easily have a gun pointed at him.
At the end of the school day, before leaving the campus, my son called me to tell what had occurred. I asked him to go the front office, and ask for the school’s dress code policy. The woman at the front counter said "that is absolutely not acceptable", pointing to what his outfit, and then said there is no written dress code.
So my issue is pretty simple, seemingly with the school: develop and distribute a dress code to allow parents and kids to avoid any kind of similar occurrence. But what I really want to now is what the Sac PD believes are the current trends in gang colors which should be avoided at all times by kids (at school or anywhere)
It is time to sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with your son. I only have a small amount of information that you sent to me and just because your son wears red doesn’t mean he is in a gang. The only person who can really tell you whether they are partaking in gang activity is your son. I will tell you that the popular gang colors are red and blue. Gang members wear these solid colors to let others know which gang they are in.
Look at your son’s school books. Look for writing or doodles on his books. Be aware of any derivative of the number “14” or XIV. Note whether he is behaving differently. Check out his friends. Keep track of which websites he is visiting online. Has your son become withdrawn from the rest of your family? Have his grades changed? Has he adopted slang or jargon to his vocabulary that is new to you? Look in his backpack to see if he has any literature or notes from friends talking about gangs. If you are concerned about invading his privacy, think of the alternative. If your son was dabbling in gang activities and gets hurt or hurts someone else, it would be devastating to know you could have possibly done something about it.
You are in a good position to speak with your son about this. The middle school years are very impressionable and he may be much more receptive to speaking to you now as opposed to high school. Listen to your gut dad. You know what is best for your son. Speak to his school principal and teachers as well. As far as the dress code, it should be in the school rules and regulations. Ask to have a copy of it. It may even be online. If they don’t have one, go to the school board.
Go to www.sacpd.org and watch our public service announcement on gangs. Just click on the “be safe” section and click on “gangs.” It has a lot of useful information that may be helpful to you and your son. Thank you for your post and take care.