Travis County Constables Keep Kids Away From Gangs

August 22, 2011 at 9:19 am Leave a comment

Every parent has fears about the types of things their child will get involved in, from drugs to crime to unsavory body piercings.  But one thing no parent wants to see their child take part in is gang activity.  Unfortunately for some families, gangs are more prevalent and more of a risk factor for children in certain neighborhoods, especially those that are chronically impoverished and unemployed.  In order to prevent kids from joining gangs, it is vitally important for them to understand the dangers of gang membership.

East Austin College Prep is taking a proactive step against gang activity by educating their middle school students about what gangs are, how they might be pressured to join, and how to resist such pressures.  The curriculum employed is the G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education And Training) Program from the U.S. Department of Justice, taught to students by carefully selected members of the Travis County Constables.  The constables give the students a realistic, non-sugar-coated look at the dangerous interplay of drugs, alcohol, and gangs.

Whereas in many schools officers in uniform may be viewed with fearful respect by students, the constables at East Austin Prep are considered part of the family.  Students have a strong relationship with the constables, not at all hesitant to ask questions or go to them for advice.  With the constables as a strong and reliable presence on campus, the students come to see the officers as resources and role models as well as instructors.

By taking an unwavering stance on gangs and steadily building close rapport with students, the Travis County Constables have established a firm, positive influence at East Austin College Prep.  Though there is no way for the constables to protect students every step of the way, teachers and parents can be confident that the knowledge and skills their kids learn from the constables will be a strong barrier between them and gang activity.

– Kelle Kampa
Communications Intern
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Entry filed under: Community Empowerment, Community Resource, East Austin, East Austin Children's Promise, EAustin College Prep Academy, Govalle/Johnston Terrace Neighborhood.

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