In an attempt to educate families and school personnel about gangs, the San Diego County Office of Education's Student Support Services Unit and ITV Ch. 16 recently produced and distributed a new anti-gang video to schools throughout the county.
"Gangs: Awareness and Prevention," a 28-minute documentary, uses personal testimony of former gang members, police officers, and other experts in the field to deliver its anti-gang messages.
"Our main concern was to make sure it represents gang life accurately," said Anthony Ceja, Coordinator Student Support Services. "Our focus was to educate parents, families and students on the warning signs of gang life, what to look for, and ways to prevent teens from joining a gang."
The video is used by Ceja and his colleagues part of the Gang Violence Prevention Intervention trainings for schools, parents, and community-based agencies. "We're hoping the video will be a wake-up call to not only parents, but teens themselves. It's time to stop this trend of gangs and take back our communities," said Ceja.
ITV Executive Producer Doug Gilmore co-produced and edited the video. "I learned a lot about gangs," he said. "The stories told in the video come from real people with real experiences, and they're very compelling. Once you've seen the video you can't help but walk away and be moved."
Gangs: Awareness and Prevention will air on ITV Ch. 16 on November 9 at 6:30 p.m.