Gang violence affects students

Megan Bechtolt, News Writer

There are many factors to choosing a high school for yourself or your child. One big component is how much violence is brought into the school. Gang violence is a part of every school, no matter the area where the school is located. 

Students can join gangs because they feel lonely and they want to be a part of a family-type group. When students are affiliated with a gang, that behavior is not left outside of the school. They can bring that violence, and environment around other kids. 

That’s when kids can recruit others to join that specific gang. Recruiting gang members could cause more and more students to want to become a part of that gang.  

While some students don’t see it that often, it still happens. Most of the actions that are done by gang members are, “intimidation; physical and cyber bullying; fighting; recruiting; and criminal activities such as the introduction and use of weapons, assault, sex trafficking, vandalism, and illegal drug sales,” said  

There are two officers at Omaha North High School, Officer Greene and Officer Kelli Tapp. Officer Tapp is a truant officer for Omaha Public Schools, and this is her ninth year as a truant officer. Tapp doesn’t only work at Omaha North, but also Northwest, Burke, Benson, and two Millard high schools. 

There is a stigma about how Omaha North is dangerous because of where it is located at. “There are a couple of gang members at just about every school,” Officer Tapp said. 

I think it affects all ops students,” Officer Tapp said. Gang members try to bring the problems within the gangs to schools, and other students can get involved listen to the situations.  

Officer Tapp wants everyone to be accountable for themselves and their belongings. Most of the kids thatcome in to the Student Resource Officers Office are reporting stolen or missing belongings.  

Tapp explained how kids who are gang members come to school not to learn. “If you’re not here to learn, then you shouldn’t be here at all,””Don’t get in the way of the kids who are trying to learn,” Tapp said 

”If you’re not here for being a Viking, you’re outnumbered,” Tapp said.

Megan Bechtolt