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Opinion

Readers React: A reader asks: ‘What can I do to help eliminate gang violence? How can I participate?’

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The LAPD responds to the shooting of three people near Hawkins High School in South Los Angeles on Oct. 3, 2018.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I appreciate the comprehensive articles on deadly violence near schools in South Los Angeles. The safety of our children needs to be boldly addressed.

What can I do to help eliminate gang violence? How can I participate? What comes to my mind is discussing the dignity of life with young students — in other words, tell them that it is not cool to kill. We need more job training and more youth activities. We need to provide safe passage to and from schools, even if guard escorts with bulletproof vests are needed.

Let Los Angeles lead the nation in gang violence prevention. Let us be the template for Chicago, Baltimore and other cities to follow. I look forward to improvements, and I am on board to help.

Therapy for students and families affected by violence is offered, and that is greatly needed. But we also need to take steps to reduce gun violence. So, I ask our leaders: What can the larger community do to begin to end this tragic subculture of gang violence? Or at least what are people doing now, and what is working?

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Ann Marie Smith, Glendale

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