Straight Edge

By: Koula Gianulias
By: Koula Gianulias

Straight Edge teens say no to drugs, drinking and sex. Most parents would say, that's a good thing. The problem is some of these kids are taking their beliefs too far. Police say they are considered a gang because some are lashing out violently against other kids who don't follow their lifestyle.
"They're pretty much terrorizing kids in their owns schools," says Sgt. Walt Frazier with the Regional Gang Unit.
"Some of their weapons of choice are bats, brass knuckles, knives, pepper spray and mace," says Officer Paul Adamson, also with the Regional Gang Unit.
It's a lifestyle based on positive behavior. But an extremist fringe has grown out of this philosophy, leading the Regional Gang Unit to classify a group of strait edgers as a gang. They're considered "hard core" and apparently feel its their obligation to enforce their beliefs.
Police say they target kids who smoke and drink. Usually draped in dark clothing with dyed black hair, they're known for starting trouble at a sporting events, or showing up at parties they weren't invited to and provoking a fight. Police also say because they come from more affluent families, they've got the technology - like cell phones and computers - to organize rapidly.
The Washoe County School District has banned all straight edge clothing and paraphernalia. They're also urging parents to talk to their kids about any sort of organization they've joined, and the level of their involvement.


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