This Affects Us All

Gang violence affects our community and local citizens. There have been 12 gang-related murders in the city of Danville this year.

Drugs and underage drinking make the potential for violence  worse. Chatham High School students are affected by both.

Malia Hodnett, senior, said, “It makes me fear for innocent children who see their peers act violently, and it might affect their future because they are influenced.”

School Resource Officer Deputy Tim West said, “The gang violence is becoming more prominent; it’s not as bad in the county as much as it is in the city.”

Some students share similarities in their opinions about gang violence.

Phillip White, senior, said, “Gang violence makes life dangerous in my community.”

William Smith, freshman, said, “Gang violence hurts people.”

Madelyn Saundaers said, “Gang violence kills and injures a lot of innocent citizens.”

Sommiya Thacker , freshman, “It tears the community.”

Tony Whittle, senior, said, “It makes our community look bad.”

Shamond Barley ,senior,said, “Makes it unsafe for the community.”

Most students agreed that there are ways to avoid gang violence.

Phillip White, senior, said, “Just don’t go to Danville.”

Sgt. Eddie Purdue said, “Provide education support groups; they [gang members] are just looking for acceptance. They don’t have that social support; they are just normal people trying fit in, they just found the wrong crowd.”

Malia Hodnet, senior, said, “Have things for them to do.”

Deputy West said, “Find them something to do. They are looking for something that they can’t find at home.”

John Scott, freshman, said, “Form a neighborhood watch.”

Madelyn Saunders, freshman, said, “Don’t get involved in gangs in the first place.”

Tony Whittle, senior, said, “Don’t get into gangs.”

Shamond Barley, senior, said, “Stay away from the wrong crowd. Don’t be a follower.”

The reasons young people join gangs are varied.

Sommiya Thacker, freshman, said, ” They see their friends and family do it, and they think it’s okay.”

William Smith, freshman, said, ” They think it might make them look cool.”

Malia Hodnett, senior, said, “They join to be cool.”

Tony Whittle, senior, said, “There are not enough resources for children to get into.”

Phillip White, senior, said,”They need family.”

Drugs and alcohol is a huge influence in young people’s lives.

William Smith said,” They think doing drugs and drinking makes them look popular.”

Tony Whittle said,” They do it because of stress, so drugs and alcohol relieve them from that stress for a few hours.”

Shamond Barley said, ” They are depressed and just wanna get high.”

Malia Hodnett said, “It’s is because of peer pressure.”

Deputy West said, “It’s experimental plus they have easy access to  it.”

John Scott said, “Gives their  body a positive reaction.”

Madelyn Saunders said, “Students want to be like everyone else.”

There are consequences from underage drinking and illegal drugs.

John Scott said,”If you get caught it’s on your permanent record.”

Madelyn Saunders said, “You can go to jail.”

Sommiya Thacker said,”Some of the drugs can kill you.”

William Smith said, “Its horrible for your health.”

Sgt. Eddie Purdue said “You can get in trouble with the law.”

Kylee Hipp, sophomore, said, “It can negatively affect your physical appearance.”