Articles About Involvement In Gang Violence And Methods Of Prevention For Students

1381 words - 6 pages

In low income areas and large cities, gang violence is a major problem many parents hope their children will avoid. Unaffordability makes the option of relocating out of the question for the majority of families. Very few people from neighborhoods such as this are able to go to college because of the expense and lack of motivation from the students. Scholarships are the only hope for kids who grow up in environments like downtown Oakland or Berkeley, California. Scholarships can only be granted through outstanding skills in academics, sports, and extracurricular activities, though, not because a student has the ability to stab with a knife, torment innocent pedestrians on the street, or shoot a gun from a moving car. Solutions to preventing involvement in dangerous gangs are numerous, but do the methods actually work?
The solution of being successful in sports is usually every kid's dream. Some imagine pitching from a major league baseball mound or dunking a goal during an NBA game. Should this dream be supported? Maybe enforcing a school wide dress code would develop a community atmosphere for the students at a faster pace than a small, athletic team would. Each of these methods are discussed in separate articles. George Dohrmann, author of “How Dreams Die,” relies on pathos to explain how sports are no longer a solution for preventing students’ involvement in gangs, yet Mike Knox who wrote “The Case for Strictly Enforced Dress Codes in Schools” does a better job of incorporating logos into his argument about providing stricter dress codes to decrease the number of students joining gangs, therefore making his the stronger argument between the two.
Dohrmann's pathos-driven argument begins with the heartbreaking life story of Fred Lawson who grew up in Berkeley, California. Lawson was often distracted from his sports career by a local gang, the Oni Boys, until one day he became injured and lost all expectations to play football in college. This resulted in Lawson abandoning the dream of a prosperous life followed by him retreating to the acceptance of gang life. Dohrmann’s article uses a strong voice of pathos as he describes several years of Lawson’s life. The argument is entertaining. Having been published in Sports Illustrated the purpose was to be an engaging read, yet Dohrmann fails to state any specific claim to identify why he believes sports are not the solution for students to avoid gang involvement. His only proof is that such a dream was not attainable by Lawson and several other young men mentioned within the passage. The only statistics provided are irrelevant to the argument, but help the reader connect with Lawson on a more personal level. Dohrmann does make it clear that gang violence is growing, at least within the city limits of Oakland, California where “there were 127 homicides last year and 148 the year before, which was up 68% from 2004 […] Gang violence in Oakland [was] so bad that last year Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger...

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