SEAL MATERIALS: GANGS
Learning Opportunity title: Gangs
SEAL aspects (delete as appropriate):
Global Dimension concept & topic:
Diversity, Social Justice, Interdependence and Conflict Resolution
Global SEAL overall learning outcomes:
43. I understand that people can all feel the same range of emotions, but that people do not necessarily respond in the same way to similar situations, and that different people may express their feelings in many different ways.
45. I appreciate how people’s identities affect their opinions and perspectives.
49. I understand the impact of bullying, prejudice and discrimination on all those involved, am moved to want to make things better for them and can use appropriate strategies to do so.
52. I can reflect critically on the factors which influence and determine the quality of the lives of others.
54. I can communicate and work effectively with others in my class, school, community and in the wider world, listening to what others say as well as expressing my own thoughts and feelings.
72. I understand the importance of dialogue, tolerance, respect and empathy in preventing and managing conflict.
59. I understand and accept my rights and responsibilities as an individual who belongs to many different social groups, such as my friendship group, school class, school, family and community and the wider world and can use human rights as a framework for challenging inequalities and prejudice. I can balance my rights with those of other people.
73. I know the importance of communication, advocacy, negotiation, compromise and collaboration n managing and reducing conflict and practice using these skills myself.
Learning Outcomes specific to this Learning Opportunity (WILF):
I understand that gangs are a global phenomenon and there are similarities between gangs all over the world.
I can tell you some reasons why kids join gangs.
I can evaluate different solutions to the gang problem.
Gangs, violence, safety, social problems, poverty, phenomenon, motivation
Gang Photos (x2) (stills from film www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOWF6eIVqqI&feature=relmfu ‘Gangsta’s Paradise: New Zealand’) see supplementary resources
You tube videos: London Gangs : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YH0LUt8R2k ; Sky News report on gangs in Merseyside 2008 : www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PtbU6gorA4&feature=related
Causes of Gangs Cards: either copied and cut up or projected onto board.
Show some or all of the pictures of New Zealand Gangs.
What do you see in these pictures? Where do you think they are from? Why?
If they disagree have a short discussion and then take a vote.
They probably won’t guess New Zealand. The point to stress is that this gang could be from a lot of different places. This is a global phenomenon.
Activity or activities (core & optional):
Show you tube video on London Gangs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YH0LUt8R2k
Give each student a set of cards from Resource Sheet 1 and ask them to diamond rank them (Alternatively, use a projector and have them write their diamond ranking).
Designate parts of the room to different causes and have them stand at their top choice. If one cause is oversubscribed ask if any of them would consider another cause. The aim is to have each cause represented by a group of 3 or 4 (if there aren’t enough students, then drop the less popular choices).
They have to create a short role-play based on a student like themselves who joins a gang because of their chosen cause. You may need to help certain groups get their ideas going. For example, inequality seems quite abstract, but they will start to have more ideas if they think about what kids experience when they others with so much wealth and their own family with nothing. Similarly, you may need to flush out some of the consequences of poor education.
Have them perform their sketches for the class.
After each role-play discuss what the main character could have done differently. You may want to use a forum theatre approach: the role-play is repeated but audience members can call freeze or rewind and take the protagonist’s place, acting out the alternative courses of action.
Show www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PtbU6gorA4&feature=related Sky News report on gangs in Merseyside 2008 (2 mins 43 secs)
What were the two approaches used to stop kids joining gangs? What else can we do? Brainstorm some ideas on the board.
Split the class into groups of 3 or 4. Give each group one of the examples from Resource Sheet 2 (you may want to choose just 3 or 4 examples and produce duplicates, this will save time when it comes to the discussion later). They must take some time to write some notes about what is good and bad about their example.
Now imagine that the class is a committee that must decide what project to invest a further £1 million into. Each group must state the case for their project. After all the projects have been presented, let the class discuss freely (ie they don’t have to continue to support the one they presented). At the end you can vote for a winner.
Plenary including questions for reflection & enquiry:
A) Reflect together on the project that was chosen and what appealed about it.
B) Broaden the discussion to look at what it is that teenagers ‘need’ that is fulfilled by gangs. This discussion you may wish to structure by perhaps discussion ‘Personal needs’ (feeling secure), ‘Social needs’ (e.g. being able to have friends and peers that you socialize with). There can also be the need to feel ‘powerful’ and to have some effect on the world around, particularly when young people often feel power-LESS. Do all people, perhaps young people in particular, need to feel they are ‘good at’ something? What about the need for ‘respect’? Essentially gangs offer many things that people could be said to ‘need’. That does not make them good things if they behaviour of those gangs then is destructive, threatening and illegal. But some articles have been looking at this need to not condemn young people’s needs to form groups, or even ‘gangs’, if they are not destructive but can be constructive.
Suggestions for personalizing learning:
Ask the kids to design a poster or mind map which shows what people / things in their lives help them to stay on track and not to be tempted to join gangs.
Find out about local projects and think about any additions or improvements that could be made. Then write to those involved with your recommendations.
Or, design your own project and propose it to the school, council or police.
BBC links on gangs http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/gangs
www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/Yourchildshealthandsafety/WorriedAbout/DG_171314 Gangs and gang crime: the facts – Directgov video (3 mins 53 secs) and information
https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/00802-2008BKT-EN.pdf Gangs and Group Offending: Guidance for Schools (DCSF 2008)
www.rathboneuk.org/downloads/Paul%20Fletcher's%20speech.pdf ‘Why do children join gangs?’ text of speech by Paul Fletcher of youth charity Rathbone
www.rathboneuk.org/newsarticle.aspx?ID=594 Related news release
www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YH0LUt8R2k London Gangs, Journeyman Pictures 2008 (9 mins 20 secs)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6383933.stm BBC News article on London gangs based on 2007 report
www.itzcaribbean.com/ron_shillingford.php ‘Britain’s alarming gang culture’ Ron Shillingford, Caribbean Community website 2007
http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/sheffield/hi/people_and_places/newsid_9119000/9119360.stm ‘Gang culture in Sheffield’ BBC Sheffield video (3 mins 37 secs) and report 2010
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PtbU6gorA4&feature=related Sky News report on gangs in Merseyside 2008 (2 mins 43 secs)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_7773000/7773718.stm Guns and knives on the street BBC Today Programme video (3 mins 37 secs) and report 2008
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmDffG1V-J4 Old Trafford Guns & Gangs Project. Manchester UK 2008. (1 of 2); http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tEqZJLC9cc (2 of 2)
www.nasuwt.org.uk/system/search/index.htm?search=gangs+and+schools&stype=QUICK ‘Gangs and Schools’ NASUWT Report 2008
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangs_in_the_United_Kingdom Wikipedia article on gangs in the UK, including historical origins
www.historyandpolicy.org/lessons/youthcrime.html ‘Youth culture and crime: what history tells us about antisocial youth in Britain’ Article by Dr Abigail Wills for BBC History magazine
www2.le.ac.uk/ebulletin/features/2000-2009/2006/08/nparticle.2006-08-03.2020148239 Gang culture - summary of issues by research group at Leicester University
www.restoringtroubledteens.com/parenting-resources/teen-violence-gangs/why-do-young-people-join-gangs.html Information on why young people join gangs from U.S. site ‘Restoring Troubled Teens’.
www.violencepreventioninstitute.com/youngpeople.html ‘Why children join gangs and what you can do about it’ U.S. Violence Prevention Institute
Youth gangs, knife and gun crime’ UK and global bibliography with weblinks from British Library
www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOWF6eIVqqI&feature=relmfu ‘Gangsta’s Paradise: New Zealand’ (23 mins 8 secs). Suggest show up to 4 mins 15 secs (explicit song lyrics next section)
Bored / Nothing to do
Rap Music, Films, and “Gangsta” Culture
esource Sheet 1
Resource Sheet 2
WALTHAM FOREST: £3m anti-gang project launched
10:50am Saturday 29th January 2011
A £3million scheme to tackle street violence by telling gang members to change their ways or face an intense police crackdown has been launched.
Project Ceasefire will see criminals and their families offered help with housing, addiction, education and employment in an attempt to tackle the root causes of gang problems.
But if those targeted refuse support, police have pledged to place them under intense scrutiny.
The project, which will also see more anti-gang work in schools, is loosely based on policies introduced in Boston, USA, and Strathclyde, Scotland, which focused on wider social problems linked to gang activity.
It will invlove council staff and visiting families to offer up to nine hours support a week to address issues affecting them.
MPs, councillors and police officers attended the launch of the project on Friday (January 28).
It comes after an upsurge in suspected gang-related violence across the borough over the summer months, including non-fatal stabbings and shootings.
Speaking at the launch, council leader Chris Robbins said: "What is clear is that none of us can deal with the gang issue on our own.
“We have to ensure that all these different parts work together.
"Gang violence only directly affects a very small proportion of Waltham Forest, but the devastation of it ripples through the whole of the community."
Borough commander Steve Wiseby said the project will run alongside new measures such as the recently launched 'gang injunctions' which can ban individuals from entering certain areas or wearing gang colours.
He said: "Youth and gang violence is a priority for us. And here in Waltham Forest working with the council I'm glad to say they agree and there is a real positive team attitude."
Mr Wiseby said plans were in progress to place police workers in the same offices as council staff so information can be shared.
Mr Duncan Smith told the launch: "It's not possible to just arrest our way out of the problem.
"I am proud that the borough has come forward at last and come up with a really good plan. The key point is nothing works unless everyone is working together." "Where east London goes today, I think the rest of London should follow tomorrow."
Anti-gang project set to engage 2,000 young Londoners
By Janaki Mahadevan Monday, 19 October 2009
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An anti-gang programme launched by charity London Youth is aiming to reduce street violence and re-engage young people in education or training.
Positive Change launched at the Globe Theatre in London with the aim of reducing offending, antisocial behaviour and engagement in gangs.
Through youth clubs in Greenwich, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham and Tower Hamlets, the programme will support at least 2,000 young people, who are at risk of or involved in gang-related activity, to take up positive activities and secure training or employment over the next 18 months.
Those most in need of support will receive intensive cognitive behavioural therapy.
Nick Wilkie, London Youth's chief executive, said: "The challenges faced by young Londoners may be daunting but they are not insurmountable.
"The answers lie in utilising trusted grassroots organisations and skilled youth workers."
Lord Victor Adebowale, chair of the Positive Change programme board, added: "We need to build a prevention umbrella over London's youth.
"The Positive Change programme is one of the key ways in which that umbrella can be made big enough, strong enough and robust enough to cope with the demands and pressures on London's youth."
Guns and Gangs Project, Old Trafforde are
We are 15 peer researchers, aged 14-25, who carried out research with local “at risk” young people from Old Trafford, through online questionnaires, focus groups and 1-2-1 interviews.
Where we're based
Old Trafford, Manchester
When we started
How we started
Trafford Housing Trust, (a local social housing provider), wanted to look at the possibility of trying to address the ongoing problem of guns and gangs in Old Trafford. The funding for the project came from a partnership between Trafford Housing Trust and Trafford Youth Offending Team. A community participation company called ICA:UK delivered and facilitated the innovative and superbly effective peer research training.
50 “at risk” young people participated in the research, which entailed interviewing some members of the notorious Old Trafford Cripz.
The findings showed that gang involved youths believed that the gun and gang problem has a lot to do with economics, and that with more jobs, and apprenticeship opportunities, the problem would be greatly reduced. The other main outcome was that young people felt that there was not enough to do, and that a youth centre, with music production equipment, would provide young people with purposeful and fun things to do, as well as giving them the chance to grow up together in peace.
Some members of the group have already been to deliver workshops on a schools tour in Greater Manchester, funded by Greater Manchester Police, and they now want to deliver them nationally, with the message that, guns and gangs aren’t cool. They would also like to visit prisons and make an anti- gang song which they hope will go to number one in the charts!
Zero-tolerance anti-gang scheme proposed
Iain Duncan-Smith thinktank proposes 'gados' – gang activity desistance orders – and heavy policing as remedy for teenage gang crime
A zero-tolerance approach is needed to tackle the growing problem of teen gangs, a thinktank said today.
Up to 50,000 young people are caught up in gang culture, says a report from former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith's Centre for Social Justice.
The report calls for gang leaders to be served with new gang activity desistance orders (gados), which could see them jailed for breaches. The orders would be issued by courts as a "last resort" in areas where people were too intimidated by gang violence to help the authorities tackle the problem, its Dying to Belong report said.
But it added that unlike antisocial behaviour orders (asbos), which have become a "badge of honour" for some youths, they should be strictly enforced and carry "serious repercussions".
The "gado" scheme is part of a package of US-inspired measures put forward by the report, including a project which saw gang leaders in Boston told to end violence and receive drug rehab, remedial education and help finding work, or face constant attention from the authorities and prosecution for the most minor offences.
Other ideas include setting up "gang prevention zones" in the worst-affected areas, where police, councils and other agencies would focus efforts to get youngsters out of trouble.
Duncan-Smith said: "The tragic murder of Rhys Jones in Liverpool has brought home the casual savagery of gang crime in Britain today. Half the 27 teenagers murdered in London last year were the victims of gang crime. That should bring home the brutal truth that street gangs are a nasty and shocking symptom of the broken society.
"We need emergency action in stemming the rise of gang culture which is devastating our most disadvantaged communities."
Streatham Hill brothers launch anti-gang project Generation Next
8:50am Thursday 12th March 2009
A creative project to empower the country’s youth and help them move away from the lure of gangs and crime has been launched by two Streatham brothers.
The Generation Next Foundation project includes programmes for young people interested in documentary filmmaking and fashion, and aims to address a lack of extracurricular activities for young people.
It will first focus on Lambeth’s youth before going on a nationwide tour of schools.
Hamdi Bonin, 30, and his brother Ludvig Bonin, 27, of Streatham Hill, who both work in child protection in the borough, say the project will help young people fulfil their dreams, but also teach them the importance of social responsibility.
Hamdi said: “Instead of demonising young people, we believe it is important to encourage them to take ownership of their destiny, make a positive impact on their communities, and to provide them with a platform where their voices can be heard.”
The project boasts a 20-strong team of youth workers and industry professionals.
Its filmmaking branch, Generation Next Productions, will give young people interested in film production and social affairs the chance to produce their own documentaries - tackling the subjects that matter to them most.
Hamdi said this will give youth a voice and a vehicle to drive positive change within their communities.
The foundation, which has prospective Streatham Parliamentary candidate Chuka Umunna as a board member, has also launched its own fashion label Belvedere Clothing.
Fashion students and young designers will be able to submit designs to the label – the best of which will be made and sold in a number of independent retailers - with high street chains also interested in the idea.
The fashionistas would receive a percentage of the profit made by their design.
The projects will work in harmony with an interactive forum spotliet.com where people can post their creative work, write entertainment news and reviews, and participate in debates.
“We want to get young people away from the virtual world of social networking sites and focus on being creative and discussing real issues,” said Hamdi.
BRITAIN'S ALARMING GANG CULTURE
By Ron Shillingford
.... [A] trend is growing in Britain's Caribbean community of sending wayward boys to the Caribbean to attend schools where discipline is stricter, violence less prevalent and teachers are generally more respected.
Spencer Fearon is a successful boxing promoter and property investor. His disruptive nature as a child meant that at the age of nine he was sent from home in Kennington, South London, to live with family in rural Jamaica. 'I went to Brandon Hill School in Clarendon for two years and it had a massive effect on me,' he said. 'There was no running water and we had to go and fetch it from a pipe. Everything was basic. That experience helped fix me up. It can work for some but there were other kids from England who hated it because they didn't have the creature comforts like computer games and TV. I loved it because it was part of the Jamaican culture I didn't know. I was with family who loved me and cared about my development.
'I believe that the best role models are parents, not footballers, entertainers or entrepreneurs. Values come from the home and that's where black kids are being failed, by their parents. Black people who kill have a total disregard for each other.' Evidently, Operation Trident, the Metropolitan Police unit that specializes in monitoring black-on-black crime is not tackling the job as well as expected.
Lee Jasper is Senior Policy Advisor on Equalities for the Mayor of Greater London. He hopes to one day succeed Ken Livingstone as mayor. Jasper grew up in Chase, a rough part of Manchester and was a disruptive teenager himself. He has nine children, including five boys. 'I think all black boys in Britain should be sent to the Caribbean or Africa for a gap year to show them what poverty is really about,' he said. 'When they get to around 13 or 14 they seem to adopt this semi-gangster attitude and sending them to places like that helps them to get a better perspective on life.
'My three eldest sons are grown up now. Two were sent to Jamaica and one to Ghana for a year against their wills around that age and they all came back with a far better attitude. They are all doing very well now. My two youngest sons are 15 and 11 and they’ll be going too.'
Former BBC radio presenter Henry Bonsu is now a director of Colourful Radio, an internet radio station. He said: 'Violence has been casualised from images youngsters get on TV, in films and rap music and that has manifested itself in these gang killings. A lot of it has to do with self-loathing too. African kids generally have a stronger family unit than Caribbean families. After all, they retain their languages, names and customs and are generally obsessed with education and still think of going home to Africa.
'But many teenagers from a Caribbean background have no strong sense of cultural identity. I think every school with a large Caribbean population should have an outside connection with a Caribbean organisation because they need to be more attached to their cultural background.'
Derek Amory is a social worker in Birmingham who specializes in working with juveniles. His family hails from St Kitts and Nevis. Amory does not believe that sending wayward youngsters to the Caribbean will help. He feels education is the key. 'Using shock tactics by sending kids to the Caribbean won't work. They'll just treat it as a holiday.
'The world has become Americanised. Street culture is universal. Crime needs to be taught as part of the school curriculum just as much as maths and English.' Mothers whose sons were victims of gang culture are becoming more vocal, partly because of the inefficiency of the authorities in tackling these issues. One of them is Lucy Cope, whose son, Damian, was gunned down five years ago simply for 'disrespecting' a notorious gangster. Cope, a Scottish mother of eight whose offspring all came from two Jamaican fathers, formed the organisation Mothers Against Guns and is planning a huge rally - Silence The Violence - in Hyde Park, Central London in July to highlight the problem.