Suburban Youth Gangs

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  • 1. Suburban Youth Gangs A group of 3+ individuals with the common interest characterized by criminal or delinquent conduct 2010 Safe Harbor-Safe Schools, LLC

2. Suburban Gang Traits

  • Characterized by:
    • low self-esteem
    • attention getting behaviors (t-shirts, pins)
    • sense of entitlement
    • low tolerance for frustration
    • low conflict resolution/coping skills
    • Emotional abuse:
      • Mental health issues, family issues, personal baggage
    • Like to be confrontational/inflammatory with adults

3. Violent tendencies:

  • Weapons of choice include baseball bats, chains, blades, pepper spray, VEGAN JELLO liquid accelerant.
  • This contingent oftentimes generates from athletic groups.
  • Strong beliefs in the cause
  • Politically correct terrorism
  • Oftentimes linked to VEGANS
    • PETA: (people for ethical treatment of animals)

4. Typical Gang Recruitment

  • Look for individuals with ego deficiencies
  • Strong need for social affiliation
  • Lack parental control
  • Sense of disenfranchisement

5. What is Straight Edge?The Claim!

  • Straight Edge is a more philosophical offshoot of the punk movement, a reaction to the hedonism and self-destruction that characterized punk.
  • The basic tenet of the philosophy centers around the issue of self-control.
  • sXeis the only youth counter-culture to actively discourage drug use, alcohol use, and casual sex. Straight edge is a lifestyle centered around personal development and well being, while encouraging fun and togetherness.

6. Where Does the Name Straight Edge Come From?

  • According to legend, the drummer for Minor Threat [Jeff Nelson], one of the first bands to preach the "stay punk, stay clean" ethos, ...was drawing a poster for a show using a wood ruler. He commented to his band mates that the ruler's straight edge was a metaphor for their lifestyle.


  • Straight Edge youth can be intimidating in a crowd with their "XXX" tattoos, facial piercings and black attire.
  • They have been called " suburban terrorists " and "politically correct terrorists." Straight Edgers adhere to a self-regulated lifestyle of no alcohol, no drugs and no promiscuous sex. The symbol "XXX" is believed to represent a resistance to these three common vices. Many also claim to be vegetarians or vegans and some don't drink caffeine.
  • There was a highly publicized incident that occurred in 1998, in which two Straight Edge teens were involved in the murder of a Latino youth in Salt Lake City, was a key factor in shaping the public image of the Straight Edge movement.
  • Theresa Martinez, a sociology professor at Utah State University who has been following the movement for six years, reports that approximately 6,500 teens in the U.S. call themselves Straight Edge. The underground nature of the movement, however, makes it difficult to determine solid statistics on the number of self-proclaimed Straight Edgers today.
  • As with all cultural phenomena, the Straight Edge movement may be evolving as a new generation comes of age. According to the popular , being Straight Edge today is sometimes a much more political statement than it was two decades ago: "While the original definition of straight-edge only included the rejection of mind altering substances and promiscuous sex, modern interpretations include a vegetarian (or vegan) diet and an increasing involvement and awareness of environmental and political issues."

8. Identifying marks 9. 10. GOTHS

  • Interest in the occult/Satanism
  • The use of extreme black clothing, light colored makeup, unusual hair styles, body piercing, bondage items, etc.A fascination with medieval, Victorian and Edwardian history. Wearing of symbols such as a Christian cross; an Egyptian ankh or " Eye of Ra ," or " Eye of Horus ;" aWiccan pentacle , a Satanic inverted pentacle. etc.14

11. GOTH Traits

  • Anti-social behavior/like shock value
  • Self-mutilation/fetishes
  • White faced, black eyeliner/lipstick, may attempt to look/dress as androgynous
  • May appear sullen and morose
  • Like fantasy/reality blending (role playing)

12. GOTH as a life style

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