Youth Teeters on the Brink of Gang Life
canada goose clearance PACOIMA Rafael Perez has a noisy gait. As he canada goose outlet toronto walks, the legs of his pants rub against each other and the seat of his trousers sags precariously toward his heels, where his pants bunch up and scrape against the sidewalk. canada goose clearance
canada goose store His oversize Ben Davis trousers, his black Ben Davis shirt and his buzz cut hairstyle are indistinguishable from those favored by many of his fashion conscious classmates at San Fernando canada goose outlet online Junior High School. canada goose store
Canada Goose Outlet canada goose uk But to his mother, they are cause for concern, because while such styles have become a uniform for many school age kids, they have also become the de facto uniform of many gang members. Canada Goose Outlet
And 15 year old Rafael http://www.canadagoosecanadaoutlet.com, according to those close canada goose jacket outlet to him, appears to be on the brink of going from imitation gangster to the real thing joining thousands of canada goose sale uk other teen agers in canada goose outlet black friday the San Fernando Valley, who at adolescence, the most awkward time of their lives, hook up with gangs canada goose jacket outlet uk and sometimes don’t make it to adulthood.
Rafael lives in a dangerous age, according canada goose outlet online store review to a recent national study. For boys age 15 to 19, the homicide rate soared 154% between 1985 and 1991, the Centers for Disease Control reported recently.
Canada Goose Jackets “There are a lot of pressures,” said Arturo del Rio, Rafael’s principal at San Fernando Junior High School. “The kids want to be conformist. They don’t want to be seen as nerds. Gang members have this aura of being feared and admired. They apparently have no worries about consequences, so they are put on a pedestal canada goose outlet reviews by many canada goose outlet jackets youngsters.” Canada Goose Jackets
In the Valley, a yearlong truce among Latino gang members helped gang homicides drop to nine during the first eight months of 1994, compared to 35 during the same period the year before, according to Los Angeles Police Department statistics.
canada goose black friday sale But other violent crimes committed by gangsters have increased, police say. canada goose black friday canada goose outlet online reviews sale
cheap Canada Goose “Maybe they’re not killing people as often, but they are as canada goose outlet in vancouver violent as they ever were canada goose outlet ,” said LAPD Lt. Fred Tuller, coordinator of the Valley’s CRASH anti gang detail. cheap Canada Goose
canada goose deals Rafael, canada goose outlet england who drifts easily from a determined silence to a joyous boisterousness, is a study in tension over gang temptation. canada goose deals
Canada Goose Parka In his case, the gang is called Paxton Street, one of about 15 Latino gangs in Pacoima. On the other side, trying to pull him to safety, are his mother and several counselors at Hope in Youth, an anti gang organization that works canada goose outlet shop with at risk kids and canada goose outlet edmonton their families. Canada Goose Parka
Canada Goose sale Sometimes the dual forces tugging at Rafael lead to almost comical results: Canada Goose sale
canada goose coats on sale A few weeks ago, while on a graffiti paint out canada goose outlet washington dc with Hope in Youth, he recognized his own scrawl. He painted over it, somewhat reluctantly. canada goose coats on sale
During the summer, he worked at a straight job. He gave some of the money to his parents, and spent much of the rest to buy his Ben Davis gang style clothes.
Canada Goose online While showing off some of the schoolwork in his binder and denying any gang involvement canada goose outlet las vegas or interest, he accidentally flipped to the wrong page. In painstaking detail, he had printed his own name and, next to it, the initials of the Paxton Street canada goose outlet legit gang. Canada Goose online
Embarrassed for a moment, he turned the page without saying anything, then offered: “I wasn’t paying attention to what I was writing. I don’t know, I was writing anything. Class is boring.”
In other canada goose outlet price ways, Rafael couldn’t be a more typical teen ager a throwback to the days before widespread gangs battled parents for the hearts and canada goose outlet nyc minds of their children.
His boyish face lights up when he talks about baseball and his favorite players: Daryl Strawberry, Ken canada goose outlet woodbury Griffey Jr., Jose Canseco. He plays first base and outfield with neighborhood pickup teams, and plans to try out for the San Fernando High team next year as a sophomore.
canadian goose jacket At home, he likes talking on the telephone with girls, listening to rappers Ice Cube and Too Short and watching “Married… With Children” on television. canadian goose jacket
buy canada goose jacket And while he does not excel in school and doesn’t spend much time studying, he said he is working hard to graduate. He was held back once, in first grade, and is enrolled in classes for students with limited English language skills, even though he was born in Granada Hills. buy canada goose jacket
canada goose clearance sale “I don’t do good in school,” he confessed after class one day, sitting on his bed in a room he shares with his two older brothers, Raul, 18, and Daniel, 17. “Some teachers hate me.” He wishes, he said, that every class was like P. E. and wood and metal shop. canada goose clearance sale
canada goose coats Algebra is a particular menace. “I just don’t understand it,” he said, scrunching up his face. “But I don’t want to repeat it in the 10th grade.” canada goose coats
buy canada goose jacket cheap In a pinch though, his sister Minerva, 14, who is in the same class, supplies him with the answers. buy canada goose jacket cheap
canada goose Perhaps a larger problem but one Rafael avoids discussing is the gang troubles at his school, where the SanFers dominate. Rafael’s friends, collectively called Pacos, because they are from Pacoima, are in the minority canada goose.