DISD asks parents for help with off-campus gang activity

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 18 at 7:01 PM

DALLAS — WFAA has uncovered a video showing a brutal fight between students from one Dallas ISD high school.

It appears the battle that spilled out onto neighborhood streets pitted gang members and non-gang members.

But this tape is nothing new to some DISD parents and the new head of the district's police force. So what's being done about it?

The school district acknowledges there are many gangs, but they also say they have many solutions to deal with those gangs.

One thing DISD doesn't have is a uniform dress code forcing all students to wear the same thing. But the chief of the district's police force says there may be a better way to fight this.

The video we found on YouTube depicts a violent gang fight that was posted minutes after it happened. Young people were getting jumped and kicked in the head as others cheered them on.

The incident took place a couple of blocks away from Molina High School. DISD police Chief Craig Miller noticed all the cell phones being used to record the street fight.

"Now you can send that information out to literally thousands of kids instantly," Miller said. "Then those people can come or not come to the scene, depending on where they're going."

Police believe the video shows a fight between gang members and non-gang members. Some parents say they're so concerned about the gang problems they won't let their children walk home from school.

One mom we spoke with said she picks up her 16-year-old son from Molina High every day. "I pick up my son because it's too dangerous, and I don't want him getting hurt," she said in Spanish.

DISD does have its own gang unit, and closely examines Web videos to identify troublemakers.

Would a uniform dress policy help keep kids from identifying with a gang? "I think that uniforms provide structure in many instances, but we have some campuses in the district where we don't have any problems, and those kids do their job and we don't have any issues with them," Chief Miller said.

The district said they feel they have a handle on what's going on inside their schools; but it's difficult to do anything about what happens off-campus. That's where DISD is asking parents to help them.

Mike Miles, who is the lone finalist to be the next Dallas ISD superintendent, has already said that establishing a district-wide uniform policy is not a top priority for him.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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