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Posted: November 8, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Our Thoughts... Gang awareness

Papers in the West, notably in Arizona and California, have seen and reported on the terrible effect gangs have on a community's children and elderly.
 Gang activity usually begins in the low-income neighborhoods of major cities. Over the years it basically was confined to those areas.
 That is not true anymore; in recent years people have fled from this activity in inner cities.
 Unfortunately, as these families have found safe havens in communities like Newton County, the gangs have followed.
 The gangs our law enforcement officials are dealing with in Newton County are not West Side Story types of gangs. They are ruthless offspring of West and East coast gangs. Some gangs were created by the Russian Mafia. All of them have no respect for anyone or their property.
 Last week the administration at Newton High School sponsored a forum on gang awareness for parents and interested members of the community.
 Sadly, not many parents chose to attend. We commend the principal of Newton High, Dr. Roderick Sams, and his staff for their efforts in bringing gang activity to the forefront. We would like to see this effort continue.
 We are more than disappointed by the lack of parent turn out at this forum. Dr. Sams even mentioned at the forum that the parents in attendance were the ones who were not part of the problem. We could have the best school system, the best law enforcement and the best courts in the state, but without the complete cooperation of parents and families, this gang problem is not going to go away and gangs will continue to thrive and bring fear into the lives of our decent families.
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