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January 27, 1995 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-01-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Get Real Family Values
at Dreisbao and Sons
Cadillac...

DREISBACH and SO \IS

CADILLAC

OWNER

Gang Symbols
Posing Problems

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7 Mile & Grand River • (313) 531-2 . 00

JILL DAVIDSON SKLAR STAFF WRITER

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CADILLAC
A

ATINC;

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HICilIER STANDARD

CORRECTION

G nyder Detroi/

MEMBERSHIP CARD

THE JEWISH NEWS

VALID

U)

LU

U)

LL

THrzu

22

20, 1995

In the premiere edition of Cuisine that appeared in The Jewish News
January 20, 1995. Due to a typographical error in the GINOPOLIS'
ad on page 25, it reads Special Offer 15% Off. It should have read 10%
Off as shown in the GINOPOLIS' ad on page 24. The Jewish News regrets
any inconvenience this error may have caused.

with the Jewish religion. It is just
a gang symbol."
He said the star has come to
symbolize the memory of a fallen
Chicago gang leader. Friends of
David Barksdale, a member of
the Folk gang in Chicago, began
wearing the star and spray-paint-
ing it following his murder by a
rival-gang member.
In response, the other major
gang, the People, began using the
five-pointed star. Both gangs, as
well as their distinctive graffiti,
have come to the area by way of
members who have moved from
other major cities.

The Star of David
has become a gang
symbol.

The star as a gang symbol is
only part of the dilemma for
school districts who wish to cur-
tail or deter gang activity in their
community by banning other
known gang symbols. For exam-
ple, some districts have banned
the wearing of baseball hats be-
cause the way a teen would wear
the hat might suggest gang mem-
bership.
But the star poses other prob-
lems because of its use as a reli-
gious symbol.
Superintendent
Mendon
Robert Duke knows this well. He
recently received a letter from the
southwestern Michigan branch
of the ACLU asking him to delete
the suspension of the freshman
from the student's file. .
Mr. Duke admits that his com-
munity has little gang activity.
But he wants to keep it that way.
He seeks to have community in-
put to formulate the district's
dress code policy on gang sym-
bols, including the Star of David.
'What we are attempting to do
is to put some policies and proce-
dures in place which will balance
the very important freedom of ex-
pression with the district's inter-
est at heading off gang members,"
he said.
"The issue is: Where do you
draw the line?" ❑

Corrections

rIbm Lurie, the director of Camp Walden, was incorrectly
identified in the Jan. 13 Family/Camp Guide.

LU

F-

DECEMBER

bout a year ago, Dick
Lobenthal began hearing
a rash of complaints about
graffiti adorning the sides
of buildings.
People reported the Star of
David spray-painted on the ex-
teriors of area businesses. The
stars were being stabbed by pitch-
forks or were crossed out.
But what looked like anti-Se-
mitic work was actually the call-
ing card of a national gang with
local connections, said Mr. Loben-
thal, the Michigan Region direc-
tor of the Anti-Defamation
League.
"On second glance, it was gang
graffiti and had nothing to do
with anti-Semitism," Mr. Loben-
thal said.
Now the star, long a symbol of
Jewish identity, has come to
mean membership in a gang. As
a result, the symbol has come un-
der fire, causing some communi-
ties to study solutions to its use
in relation to gangs.
* In Oak Park, city council
members are looking to ban the
sale of spray paint to minors
in an attempt to stop the graffi-
ti which occurs periodically
on businesses on Nine Mile
Road. The council also hopes
to force local business owners
to quickly cover any graffiti in
an effort to discourage the
artists.
'We hope to have something to
the council for their review in
March," Oak Park City Attorney
Burton Shifman said.
* In Mendon, a small city in
southwestern Michigan, the
school district plans a communi-
ty meeting next month to address
the issue of the use of the star and
other gang symbols in the school.
A freshman student was sus-
pended there last month for re-
fusing to remove a necklace
bearing the star.
Officer Lawrence Gibson of the
Madison Heights Police Depart-
ment has seen the trend as well.
As a local expert on gangs, he has
spotted Stars of David in areas
with little or no Jewish popula-
tion.
"The symbol is everywhere,"
he said. "But it has nothing to do

THE JEWISH NEWS

The story on author Max Apple was written by Peter
Ephross of Ann Arbor.

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