Gang specialist comments on recent school fights - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Gang specialist comments on recent school fights

With concerns that two Tuesday afternoon fights at Trezevant High School might have been gang related, one gang specialist tracking activity in that school says more needs to be done to protect girls.
  
The fights resulted in a dozen police cars outside the school with officers handcuffing several students and putting them in the back of patrol cars.  Female Gang Specialist Beverly Cobb works with the Shelby County Gang Unit.  She's very familiar with Trezevant High. 

"We do know that the Vice Lords, as a whole, is one of the most prominent gangs in that school," Cobb said.
  
She says females are initiated into the male gangs.  The are either beaten in, blessed in by a family member or through sex. 

"If they don't want to be beat in, they're not in a position to be blessed in, they have sex with some of these guys and they know that they have full-blown aids," Cobb explained.
  
She's worried many assaults involving female gangs fall under the radar. 

"A lot of things go unreported.  Our school officials did not want to admit that there was this problem in the schools with the gangs," she said.
  
Trezevant is located in Memphis City School Board Member Stephanie Gatewood's district.  Action News 5 asked her what's being done to prevent gang activity in the schools. 

"That is definitely something that we as a district need to look at and perhaps have some training with our young ladies," Gatewood said.
  
She says parents should be informed.  "We should disclose as much as possible because if we don't tell exactly what has happened, then how would we know how to fix that issue and that problem?," she commented.

Gatewood says parents will be key in helping to reclaim the schools.  She's now considering holding a town hall meeting to bring light to the issue.  The Shelby County Gang Unit regularly speaks to youth in Memphis and the county.

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