The War Zone
We break for a moment from looking at the physical environment to take a glance at the social environment. I received the following description of a confrontation between the Valley Boys Gang (colour red, Valley,
I was in what they call the vicinity of the school from 3:00 to 3.20 pm and saw a dance, Flamenco, Ballet. I am still figuring out how to describe it properly. In words, maybe I'd be able to draw it first.
West Side Connection in front of the clinic, less than 20, close together. Valley Boys across the road in the roundabout corner, over 40, spread out almost in a line. Spectators’ positions in food van area, small groups making up the biggest group, reminding me of people watching tennis, left, right, oei, left, right. Spectators are mostly girls. WSC and Valley Boys, mostly boys.
Valley is expected to move in for revenge for the stabbing yesterday. For quite a while absolutely nothing is happening, they are hardly moving. No talking, a whisper. Valley are staring WSC down. WSC is daring them by moving their chin upward, slightly. None of the WSC core is going on the bus. They'd have to cross the road. A few Valley have sticks, loosely, playing with some bottles, standing still, waiting. WSC all just watching them, nodding. After about 10 minutes of this still part of the dance, a good twenty Valley walk across the roundabout and stall under the sign. Triangle set-up. With spectators moving closer to the road to have a view. All heads right, all heads left. WSC get up, move towards the roundabout on the Environmental Health side, stall too. Spectators move in so as not to miss any action. I don't hear anybody talk, it's eerie. WSC moves again, around the corner, I get in the car and go to the roundabout. All of Valley start to move towards in the direction of the tourist office. WSC moves along toward the market.
The crowd had a show. The WSC and Valley core had the victory of admiration or at least attention by the spectators, peers in puberty, girls.
'It was just like the videoclip'. (I gave a girl a ride just to hear). WSC showed they ain't scared. The Valley came out in numbers to show they are intent on revenge.
War! It frightened me, but I could see that for the girls there was beauty in it, the orchestrated-ness of it, the duende of Flamenco, bullfighting. Even the anti-climax, 'for now, for now'.
If the authorities do not immediately do something pretty drastic, I would say there is going to be a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth in the bedrooms of a lot of parents in the coming days. What do I mean by drastic? How about the usual? Bring in the participants in gang fights for questioning. Hold them without bail until Monday morning. Let them sleep in the prison. Call their parents in to the station. Let a couple of big, burly policemen give them a lecture about the need to discipline their boys.
After the parents have well and truly disciplined them, let them be grounded for at least a month.
Call the girls in. Have Linda lecture them on their role in helping the boys to improve their self-esteem in positive ways.
Make it an offence for school children to be on the street unaccompanied by an adult between 9:00 pm and 6:00 am.
Make it an offence for a parent or guardian to permit a school child to break curfew, and impose a minimum $500.00 fine, with a maximum of $2,500.00 for repeat offenders. It won’t solve all the problems, but it will empower the parents and guardians to once again take control of their young charges.
I don’t know. I may have it wrong. I am no pedagogue. Ask the experts!