Mike's Thoughts


Behavioural Consultant Program Leader, South Area Behaviour Resource Team, Waterloo Regional District School Board, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

"Your presentation remained a lively lesson for all of us on the South Area Behaviour Resource Team as we clearly remembered the differences between respect and fear, and the illusion of protection and family belonging that entices youth into gangs. Because we deal daily with troubled kids your lessons and the great hand out has served us well in improving our own skills in this area. Your skills in reaching kids of different ages as well as professional staff with respect, clear headedness and with street wisdom impressed us all! Know you HAVE made a difference and that we are grateful."

Pre-Crisis Indicators

Here are some warning signs that someone you know may be in or involved with a gang.

Pre-Crisis Indicators

  1. Sudden self-segregation.
  2. Clustering of rival groups.
  3. Unusual movement of groups from their normal territory.
  4. Students attending school event which they do not normally attend.
  5. Isolated racial fights.
  6. Violent incident or disorder in the community.
  7. Discovery of weapons on or around school property.
  8. Increased conflict on buses, at bus stops, and along bus routes.
  9. Increased concern among custodial, cafeteria and transportation personnel.
  10. Parents withdrawing students to protect them.
  11. Older students attempting to protect younger students who are not their siblings.
  12. Increase in gang graffiti on walls, textbooks, and papers.
  13. "X-ing" out of graffiti on walls, fences, etc. in the neighborhood.
  14. Sudden and excessive change of style or manner of wearing clothes.
  15. Limited color choices of clothing (usually to one or two colors only).
  16. The sudden interest and excessive concern about the condition of accessories, such as bandannas.