Q: I have concerns that my teenage son may have joined a street gang. What are the signs of gang affiliation, and what can I do to get him out?
A: Signs of gang membership include many different identifiers, including using a slang name, hand gestures, symbols, tattoos, graffiti, or repetitive color clothing. If you believe your child may be associated with a street gang, explain the consequences of gang association and consult a school counselor.
Q: I have noticed an increase in teenage girls loitering near my business. Could this be human trafficking?
A: Georgia’s Attorney General’s Office is committed to protecting our most vulnerable and prosecuting those who seek to abuse and exploit Georgia’s children for sex. What you are witnessing could be human trafficking, so we suggest calling Georgia’s Statewide 24-Hour Human Trafficking Hotline at (866) 363-4842.
Q: There have been incidents of bullying involving social media at my daughter’s school. I am concerned that she is being bullied. I have been vigilant in trying to monitor her social media accounts. However, there are many ways for kids to get around the controls. Can her school do anything about this?
A: As children enter adolescence, their interactions with friends and peers become more important. While this is a normal part of their development, it also means that it can be more challenging to know whether or not they are having negative interactions, particularly online. The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) offers a Bullying Prevention Resource on its website. Visit GaDOE at www.gadoe.org, then search for “Bullying Prevention.”
Please email the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice your gang or behavior/mental health questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org