Into The Abyss:
A Personal Journey into the World of Street Gangs

by Mike Carlie, Ph.D.        
Michael K. Carlie
Continually updated.

~ Table of Contents ~
Home | Foreword | Preface | Orientation

What I Learned | Conclusions
End Note |
| Appendix
Site Map / Contents
| New Research

Up-To-Date Gang-Related News

Teaching About Gangs: 
A Resource for Teachers

There no longer is any question about whether students in grades 3 through 12 should be exposed to information about gangs. If teachers aren't informing them about gangs then peers, gang members, and the media are. It is no longer uncommon to see children eight and nine years of age active in street gangs - children in the third and fourth grade.

That's why the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (the ATF) and the Phoenix (AZ) Police Department teamed up in 1992 to create an in-school curriculum called Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.). It is now offered to third/fourth and fifth/sixth grade students as well as to middle-school and high school students.

The following is a brief history of G.R.E.A.T. 

Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) began in fiscal year 1992 through a partnership between the Phoenix Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Together with other Arizona police departments, they developed a nine lesson middle school curriculum, with the goal of reducing gang involvement and youth violence. 

Since then, a shorter third/fourth grade and fifth/sixth grade curriculum, as well as a summer component, have been developed. The purpose of the G.R.E.A.T. Program is to help children become responsible members of their communities by setting goals for themselves, resisting negative pressures, learning how to resolve conflicts, and understanding how gangs impact the quality of their lives. G.R.E.A.T. offers students a new philosophical outlook concerning gang activity and the tools needed to resist gang pressure.

To date, thousands of law enforcement officers from hundreds of agencies throughout the United States, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, and military personnel from overseas bases in Japan and Germany have been trained to present the core curriculum in elementary, junior high and middle school classrooms. The estimated cumulative number of students who have received the G.R.E.A.T. Program is more than 1 1/2 million. (G.R.E.A.T.)

Perhaps you don't have a G.R.E.A.T. program in your schools but would still like to present meaningful information to your students. The links below should give you an idea of the things you could talk about with them and experiences in which you could involve them.

Resources | Appendix | Home Page

2002 Michael K. Carlie
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the author and copyright holder - Michael K. Carlie.