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OC HIGH: STUDENT NEWS & VIEWS : Why Join a Gang?

March 31, 1994

Why teens join gangs and what can be done about it was the focus of a recent Irvine Youth Action Team newsletter, which is produced by high school students under the auspices of the city's community services department.

Students queried said they thought teens join gangs due to peer pressure, because they need close friends and don't always get enough support from their families, or to show people they are tough and because gang members support, care and love each other.

Ideas for what should be done about gangs? "A more captivating education that will smarten them up. Also more police on the streets," said one teen.

"When children are young, parents should foster moral values and ethical standards in them," said another. Others suggested more after-school jobs, closing down gun stores and, finally, on a pessimistic note, "I have absolutely no idea."

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