Gang Activity? Or Just Trying to Keep Warm?

by semarr

by semarr

After a student-led protest in Montgomery, NY, Valley Central High School lifted a blanket ban on neck scarves, which had been interpreted as “gang paraphernalia” by the school administration.   The protest, which included a refusal from many students to obey the new “no-scarf” policy, as well as a petition garnering 300+ signatures, resulted in the school board investigating how the ban came about, and ultimately the school’s decision to reverse its decision.

This case brings up an issue that many students are familiar with- the crack down on  “gang paraphernalia.”  But while the threat of gang violence is  genuine for some school districts,  many schools have over-reacted to fairly innocuous expressions that turn out to have more to do with popular fashion, or in this case “warmth”.

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One Response to Gang Activity? Or Just Trying to Keep Warm?

  1. Ethel says:

    Finally there is light in the principal’s office–in one, and we hope it will be in every principals office over the nation. Instead of rage, punishment, suspension and other terror, the principal in Montgomery Valley High has agreed to talk with a student representative about student issues. Such a fine but simple solution to the problems in high schools. Such a recognition of the value of representative discussion and democracy. Such a doffing of the hat to negotiation, discussion and consideration of the opinions of students. They do have good ideas sometimes, if someone is willing to listen.Also each issue offers a teachable moment. What if the administrator in the Doninger case had offered a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence Others instead of creating a confrontation–the result would have been a major growth in a fine student leader instead of costly litigation. So hats off to the Principal at Montgomery Central Valley High.

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