School board approves criminal gang activity policy

The school board approved the second reading of a revision of its “criminal gangs and criminal gangs activity” policy May 19.

Gangs forming in Brown County Schools is not really a problem, Superintendent David Shaffer told the board. The policy was approved as a precautionary measure for the future, he said May 5.

“We have had, over the 21 years I’ve been here, a few, what I would call, wannabe gang type issues,” Shaffer said.

“Once in a while, we will have someone who will move into the school from the urban area who has had some interaction with the gang scene. They immediately become kind of a person our kids look at as a gang member and so we’ve dealt with some issues over time.”

District leaders meet three times per year with the Brown County Schools Safety Commission — which includes law enforcement, the judge and probation department — to discuss issues such as gangs, Shaffer said.

High school Assistant Principal Angie Evans said the most recent incident “that’s even close” to a gang occurred at the beginning of last school year.

A group of female students reportedly called themselves a “squad,” and other students believed the girls were referring to themselves as a gang — “when, really, that just meant they’re friends,” Evans said.

“Then they kind of ran with it and all wore red. They got a real kick out of people thinking that they were a gang.”

Evans reported to the board that the main “leader” has since moved out of the district.