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Dear George McKenna

My name is Nidia Valencia and I attend one of the Robert F. Kennedy Community

Schools. I am writing this to inform you that many students from my school are involved in

gangs and they cause shooting around school between them. I see that most of them used to be

friends. But when they get involved in different gangs they become enemies and make the

environment for other classmates dangerous. Teachers and counselors don’t take action about

this issue, they don’t seem to want to stop the problem. In fact, students get bullied at school and

that leads them to join gangs and harm others, it is really hard to stay out of trouble when

teenagers act rude or bad sometimes over the influence of drugs. Most teenagers act like this to

feel respected by people.

The reason I am writing this is because I believe there is a solution for teenagers to stay

out of trouble and also out of gangs. After the terrible shootings that have occurred in schools in

different states, most of us are left with a question in our heads: what can we do to avoid these

events? And usually there are no answers that no longer know what is the real reason why this

act of violence is carried out. According to recent psychological studies,such as the “National

Gang Threat Assessment”, a determining factor in these events is the depression suffered by

young people, and as a consequence of depression is successive of violence. At the same time,

psychologists make suggestions to parents who are more interested in the personal formation of

their children. They make recommendations such as the proper use of the Internet and video

games, try to create environments and systems of inclusion in the home and in schools, prohibit

the possession of firearms to children under 21 years of age, which is compulsory in schools, the
use of transparent bags and a review by a personal staff, thereby achieving control of internal

activities in schools.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) they said “gang homicides accounted

for roughly 8,900 of 11,100 gun murders in both 2010 and 2011” this means that teenagers or

gang members are having more mental problems, anger or depression and they are not being

responsible for their actions and how it affects their community. In 2015 there were two men

killed around my house, then days later a student from one of the others community school was

arrested because he was responsible for it, they were from the same gang “MS13” but they were

from different streets supposedly he was taking care of their territory. This is a sad example of

how teenagers get lost in the world of gangs and give up on their education because they don’t

get help from their parents or counselors. Sometimes parents do not know what they childrens

are going through or what they are feeling, which is why teenagers look out for gangs or drugs.

In fact that 37.6% of gang members are 18-24 years old, 32% are 15-17 years is mostly

teenagers that joined gangs, only 14% are over 24 years. I believe there is a solution for this

problem because students need to take advantage of the education we get and learn something

from it to be successful in life and have knowledge.

Sincerely,

Nidia Valencia