State law encourages districts to adopt gang prevention policies or requires districts to implement stand-alone gang prevention strategies or approaches (e.g., gang detection training, gang prevention education).
California Education Code 32282 School Safety Plans
(a) The comprehensive school safety plan shall include, but not be limited to, both of the following:
- (1) Assessing the current status of school crime committed on school campuses and at school-related functions.
- (2) Identifying appropriate strategies and programs that will provide or maintain a high level of school safety and address the school’s procedures for complying with existing laws related to school safety, which shall include the development of all of the following:
- (F) The provisions of any schoolwide dress code, pursuant to Section 35183, that prohibits pupils from wearing “gang-related apparel,” if the school has adopted that type of a dress code. For those purposes, the comprehensive school safety plan shall define “gang-related apparel.” The definition shall be limited to apparel that, if worn or displayed on a school campus, reasonably could be determined to threaten the health and safety of the school environment. A schoolwide dress code established pursuant to this section and Section 35183 shall be enforced on the school campus and at any school-sponsored activity by the principal of the school or the person designated by the principal. For purposes of this paragraph, “gang-related apparel” shall not be considered a protected form of speech pursuant to Section 48950.
California Education Code 35183. Legislative declaration regarding gang regalia, gang-related apparel and gang affiliation; Adoption and enforcement of reasonable dress code policy; Schoolwide uniforms
(a) The Legislature finds and declares each of the following:
- (1) The children of this state have the right to an effective public school education. Both students and staff of the primary, elementary, junior and senior high school campuses have the constitutional right to be safe and secure in their persons at school. However, children in many of our public schools are forced to focus on the threat of violence and the messages of violence contained in many aspects of our society, particularly reflected in gang regalia that disrupts the learning environment.
- (2) “Gang-related apparel” is hazardous to the health and safety of the school environment.
- (3) Instructing teachers and administrators on the subtleties of identifying constantly changing gang regalia and gang affiliation takes an increasing amount of time away from educating our children.
- (4) Weapons, including firearms and knives, have become common place upon even our elementary school campuses. Students often conceal weapons by wearing clothing, such as jumpsuits and overcoats, and by carrying large bags.
- (5) The adoption of a schoolwide uniform policy is a reasonable way to provide some protection for students. A required uniform may protect students from being associated with any particular gang. Moreover, by requiring schoolwide uniforms teachers and administrators may not need to occupy as much of their time learning the subtleties of gang regalia.
- (6) To control the environment in public schools to facilitate and maintain an effective learning environment and to keep the focus of the classroom on learning and not personal safety, schools need the authorization to implement uniform clothing requirements for our public school children.
- (7) Many educators believe that school dress significantly influences pupil behavior. This influence is evident on school dressup days and color days. Schools that have adopted school uniforms experience a “coming together feeling,” greater school pride, and better behavior in and out of the classroom. (b) The governing board of any school district may adopt or rescind a reasonable dress code policy that requires pupils to wear a schoolwide uniform or prohibits pupils from wearing “gang-related apparel” if the governing board of the school district approves a plan that may be initiated by an individual school’s principal, staff, and parents and determines that the policy is necessary for the health and safety of the school environment. Individual schools may include the reasonable dress code policy as part of its school safety plan, pursuant to Section 32281. (c) Adoption and enforcement of a reasonable dress code policy pursuant to subdivision (b) is not a violation of Section 48950. For purposes of this section, Section 48950 shall apply to elementary, high school, and unified school districts. If a schoolwide uniform is required, the specific uniform selected shall be determined by the principal, staff, and parents of the individual school. (d) A dress code policy that requires pupils to wear a schoolwide uniform shall not be implemented with less than six months’ notice to parents and the availability of resources to assist economically disadvantaged pupils. (e) The governing board shall provide a method whereby parents may choose not to have their children comply with an adopted school uniform policy. (f) If a governing board chooses to adopt a policy pursuant to this section, the policy shall include a provision that no pupil shall be penalized academically or otherwise discriminated against nor denied attendance to school if the pupil’s parents chose not to have the pupil comply with the school uniform policy. The governing board shall continue to have responsibility for the appropriate education of those pupils. (g) A policy adopted pursuant to this section shall not preclude pupils that participate in a nationally recognized youth organization from wearing organization uniforms on days that the organization has a scheduled meeting.
California Education Code 51264 Drug Education
(a) The State Department of Education shall prepare and distribute to school districts and county offices of education guidelines for incorporating in-service training in gang violence and drug and alcohol abuse prevention for teachers, counselors, athletic directors, school board members, and other educational personnel into the staff development plans of all school districts and county offices of education.
(b) The department shall, upon request, assist school districts and county offices of education in developing comprehensive gang violence and drug and alcohol abuse prevention in-service training programs. The department’s information and guidelines, to the maximum extent possible, shall encourage school districts and county offices of education to avoid duplication of effort by sharing resources, adapting or adopting model in-service training programs, developing joint and collaborative programs, and coordinating efforts with existing state staff development programs, county gang violence and drug and alcohol staff development programs, county health departments, county and city law enforcement agencies, and other public and private agencies providing health, drug, alcohol, gang violence prevention, or other related services at the local level.
(c) The department shall assist school districts and county offices of education in qualifying for the receipt of federal and state funds to support their gang violence and drug and alcohol abuse prevention in-service training programs.
(d) Each school that chooses to utilize the provisions of this article related to in-service training in gang violence and drug and alcohol abuse prevention, is encouraged to develop a single plan to strengthen its gang violence and drug and alcohol abuse prevention efforts. If a school develops or has developed a school improvement plan pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 52010) of Chapter 6 of Part 28, or a school safety plan pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 32280) of Chapter 2.5 of Part 19, it is encouraged to incorporate into that plan, where appropriate, the gang violence and drug and alcohol prevention plan that it has developed.
(e) The department shall consult with the Office of Emergency Services regarding gang violence.
California Education Code 51265. Priority to be given to gang violence and drug and alcohol abuse prevention in–service training programs
It is the intent of the Legislature that school districts and county offices of education give high priority to gang violence and drug and alcohol abuse prevention in–service training programs, which shall be part of the overall strategy for comprehensive gang violence and drug and alcohol abuse prevention education. “Gang violence and drug and alcohol abuse prevention in–service training” for purposes of this article means the presentation of programs, instruction and curricula that will help educators develop competencies in interacting in a positive manner with children and youth to assist them in developing the positive values, self–esteem, knowledge, and skills to lead productive, gang–free and drug–free lives; develop knowledge of the causes of gang violence and substance abuse, and the properties and effects of tobacco, alcohol, narcotics, and dangerous drugs, including the risk of contracting acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) associated with intravenous drug use; receive training regarding available information and resources concerning gang violence and drug and alcohol abuse prevention as well as antigang and antisubstance abuse crime trends; develop familiarity with teaching social skills and resistance skills to children and youth; and develop skills in conducting effective education, which includes methods and techniques for helping children and youth to freely express ideas and opinions in a responsible manner and to understand the nature and consequences of their decisions as they relate to gang involvement and drug and alcohol abuse.
California Education Code 51266. Model gang violence suppression and substance abuse prevention curriculum
(a) The Office of Emergency Services, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, shall develop a model gang violence suppression and substance abuse prevention curriculum for grades 2, 4, and 6. The curriculum for grades 2, 4, and 6 shall be modeled after a similar curriculum that has been developed by the Orange County Office of Education for grades 3, 5, and 7. The Office of Emergency Services, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, may contract with a county office of education for the development of the model curriculum. The model curriculum shall be made available to school districts and county offices of education and shall, at a minimum, provide for each of the following:
- (1) Lessons for grades 2, 4, and 6 that are aligned with the state curriculum frameworks for history, social science, and English and language arts.
- (2) Instructional resources that address issues of ethnic diversity and at-promise pupils.
- (3) The integration of the instructional resources of the Office of Emergency Services and the School/Law Enforcement Partnership in order to support the school curriculum and assist in the alignment of the state curriculum framework. (b) The Office of Emergency Services shall develop an independent evaluation of the pupil outcomes of the model gang violence suppression and substance abuse prevention curriculum program.
California Penal Code 13826.65. Gang violence prevention curriculum; Prevention and intervention services
School districts, county offices of education, or any consortium thereof, receiving funding under this chapter shall develop or adopt and implement a gang violence prevention curriculum, provide gang violence prevention and intervention services for school–aged children, and shall be encouraged to do all of the following: (a) Establish a local steering committee comprised of representatives of each local program funded under this chapter, corporations, small businesses, and other appropriate local, county, and community organization knowledgeable in the area of youth gang violence. (b) Develop and distribute information concerning parent education and parenting classes, including methods whereby parents may recognize youth gang involvement. (c) Identify and utilize the resources of appropriate community–based organizations involved in the coordination of after school activities for school–aged youth. (d) Establish contact between positive role models and youth involved in gang activity through adopt–a–youth programs and similar programs. (e) Incorporate into gang prevention activities references to the relationship between drug abuse and gang violence. (f) Develop partnerships between schools and businesses for the purpose of enhancing pupil achievement through such methods as tutorial services, field trips, role modeling, and other supportive services. (g) Develop methods of assuring followup services for children receiving the initial gang violence prevention and intervention services.