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Notes on Street Smarts From the Real Experts

June 02, 1995|DENNIS ROMERO

Self-defense experts have a lot of advice for schoolchildren, women and outsiders who would venture into "bad" neighborhoods, but little of that seems relevant to the realities of big-city high school life. So we turned to students themselves and youth culture experts such as Marty Beat, editor of Street Beat magazine, to teach us their version of street smarts. A few tips:

* Keep your head up, but don't stare at people.

* Don't talk to or about people you suspect are gang members.

* Stand tall, but don't walk in "gangster stroll" fashion.

* Don't dress like a gangster (ultra-baggy jeans, white T-shirt and shaved head for boys; the same except heavy eye shadow and big hair for girls).

* Back away from challenges.

* Report rumors of crime to administrators. Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District can call in tips without using their names to the following numbers: (213) 625-6631 or (800) 954-HELP.

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