School administrators roll out new plan to combat violence - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

School administrators roll out new plan to combat violence

Memphis City administrators are rolling out a new plan to combat violence happening within the city's school system.

The plan emphasizes a message officials want parents to hear as the fight against school violence rages on.
In front of a small group of school officials and television cameras, city officials acknowledged an ongoing problem.

"There are gangs in every community in Memphis," Sara Lewis of Youth Services and Community Affairs said.
This school year has been marred by three separate shootings on three separate campuses.  After the third, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton announced increased metal detector screenings.

"We must convene parents. And we must work with parents because they are the first line of defense," Lewis said.

With that, officials announced the first ever parent gang awareness conference.

The goal of the conference will be to educate parents about gangs. At least some of that information can be found in freshly printed city schools pamphlets on gang awareness that include everything from behaviors and identifiers, to tattoos and gang graffiti.

Interim Superintendent Dan Ward said the day-long class, scheduled this Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at East High School, will keep school violence front and center.

The conference has a limit of 500 attendees.  If you would like to go, call 901-416-6295 or 901-416-7264.

Click here to e-mail Nick Kenney.

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