JMC Board Discusses Gang Policy

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Jackson-Madison County school board members met Tuesday to discuss the recent rash of fights at schools which officials said were prompted by gang activity. “I think what we accomplished in this meeting is to allow board members to participate in the discussion,” said Superintendent Buddy White of Jackson-Madison County Schools. Members of the school board asked for feedback from parents, teachers and administrators to ascertain popular gang trends prevalent in schools. “The gang activity is absolutely a community problem,” said Superintendent White. He said each school operates as a separate entity as it relates to enforcing policy. Superintendent White added the current policy states “dress that is indicative of the gang culture will not be allowed.” “I perceive them ready to just throw a dragnet over a lot of activity behaviors that aren’t necessarily gang related,” said L’sana Djahspora, a parent. Djahspora said he is a supporter of chartered schools which he says could cater to specific negative issues prevalent in the community. He said the current policies are not what he calls “culture sensitive.” “There are a lot of ways I’ve seen in other communities that you can address the problems and have some positive outcomes. If they’re willing to do that,” he adds. Superintendent White said there are what he calls “dress indicators’, clothing worn by gang members which he said change weekly. He said this makes it hard to craft effective policies. Superintendent White said Tuesday’s meeting was the first of many conversations the board will hold with parents, teachers and administrators.

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