Florence School District Three updates gang policy

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LAKE CITY, S.C. (WBTW) – The Florence School District Three Board of Trustees updated its gang related activity policy. The policy changes how students in gangs are identified.

In the past, the schools in the district and Lake City law enforcement would keep a list of gang related identifiers in schools.  Since gang members no longer wear certain colors or use certain slang to identify themselves, an updated policy was necessary.

Policy changes are routine for school boards across the County but Florence School District Three prides itself on being proactive when it comes to gangs.

Gangs are often associated as a group of people wearing certain colors and using certain slang.

Kasey Feagin, Senior Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the school district said that’s not always the case.

Feagin said, “That has changed and they are not identifying themselves in the way that they used to.”

Florence School District Three officials say criminal gang activity in the schools is not a problem, right now. So, changing how they identify gangs is a preventative measure.

“We still do not want gangs in our schools, even though they are in our communities to a certain extent. We want to make sure that gang activity does not become an issue in schools so we need to have a policy that does address gang behavior but at the same time we want to make sure that- that policy is fair to those students,” Feagin explains.

Florence County Gang Investigator, Gary Lewis said the School Resource Officers , from the Sheriff’s Office, are trained to build relationships with students and sometimes that means showing them a different path.

Lewis explains, “They can grow up to be anything they want to be. And we want to help them do that.”

“Every student can reach its fullest potential,” Lewis adds.

The board voted unanimously on the gang policy revision during the Florence School District board meeting Thursday night.

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