School personnel perceptions of youth gangs presence and activity at elementary schools in Fort Worth Independent School District in Texas.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in perceptions of selected school personnel (principals, assistant principals, counselors, and teachers) about gang presence in elementary schools in a large urban school district in Texas. The study focused on determining the following: the perceptions related to gang presence and activity within elementary schools; the differences in the perceptions among selected personnel about observable: gang graffiti behavior, gang dress/physical identifiers/tattoos, gang communication, and turf behavior; the extent that school personnel perceived campus disruptions in the elementary schools as gang related; the differences when school characteristics and the variables of gender, ethnicity, and number of years of experience in current position were considered; the relationship between the size of the school and the presence of gang activity and between the socio-economic level of the students in a school and the perceived presence of gang activity. An evaluation and agreement on whether a problem exists is a first step in finding solutions on how to deal with gang activity in elementary schools.
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