Gang activity hits schools
by Lenny Roberts
Twelve Matilija Junior High School students have been interviewed
by sheriff's deputies following what they described as a gang
initiation or "jump-in" last week at the El Paseo Road
The students all were willing participants, according to Senior
Deputy Maureen Hookstra, and none, she believes were seriously
injured in the gang-type ritual that typically involves new recruits
being pummeled by alleged gang members.
The reported initiations took place before and after school,
and at lunchtime, Hookstra added.
According to investigators, the jump-ins stretched over a 10-day
period late in March and began with two Nordhoff High School
students who, according to investigators, are admitted members
of the Old School Latinos. They allegedly told two MJHS students
to recruit other seventh-graders to prepare for a fight with
a loosely formed group known as FDS, or F*** Da System. The new
recruits were to become OSL PeeWees. The Nordhoff OSL members,
however, denied any involvement in the recruiting.
Hookstra said, "Matilija Junior High School officials responded
immediately when they found out what was going on. They called
me and we got it stopped."
Ojai-based Deputy Joe Preciado confirmed that OSL, or Old School
Latinos, is a genuine gang, having met all of the criteria, which
includes tattoos, the wearing of gang attire, informant information,
admission to belong to a gang, gang graffiti or writing, and
gang drug sales.
Hookstra said that parents need to have open dialogue with their
children, and pay attention to changes in dress, attitude, friends
and grades that can indicate that their children may have possible
interests in gang affiliation. Any parent who suspects their
child may have gang ties or interests is urged to call Hookstra
or Preciado at the Ojai Police Department, 646-1414. Callers
may remain anonymous.
In other campus news, 151 combination locks on Nordhoff student
lockers were apparently removed by the use of bolt cutters sometime
Saturday night or early Sunday morning. According to the report,
the contents of many of the lockers was strewn across the ground,
but no students have reported anything missing. Many of the damaged
locks were found inside the opened lockers.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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