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Long Co. school probes apparent gang initiation

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POSTED: April 27, 2009 10:15 a.m.
A group of Long County High School students may have held an apparent gang initiation April 10 in the school’s bathroom, according to Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters.
According to Waters, a group of around six or seven students conducted on another student what appears to be a “beat-in,” an initiation for membership to a gang. During a beat-in, members of a gang beat the person who wants to be a member as a way to ensure the prospective member is worthy.
According to Waters, the incident is still under investigation.
“There was a fight involving a group of kids, and it appears to have been an initiation to join a gang, but it still is being investigated. I will say this, the person who was beaten was a willing participate and if it was an initiation, he is just as guilty as the rest of them,” he said.
Waters said school administrators became aware of the incident when information surfaced through text messages and over the Internet. He said a parent also became aware of the beating and reported it to the school.
Waters said this is the first gang activity in the Long County school system that he is aware of since he became superintendent.
“I take gang activity very serious, and it won’t be tolerated — any of it,” Waters said.
Waters also said that if this incident does turn out to be a gang initiation, it will be treated in accordance with the school system’s policy on gang activity.
“Our policy is simple. Any gang activity results in a 10-day suspension and a referral of the incident for a tribunal hearing, with a recommendation from the school of expulsion,” Waters said.
Waters said he does not know the name of the gang that might be involved.
“No. And even though it appears to be gang-related, I can’t say for sure that it was. It might just be a bunch of students acting like wannabe gang members. But if it is, we will deal with it very harshly.”

 

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