How foolish must parents and administrators at a Huntington school district feel after banishing an anti-gang school resource officer, only to then see an assault on their students by MS-13 gang members?
Open border policies led to thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America being relocated into our Long Island schools over the last several years. Many of us warned that this was a recipe for disaster. Having young male teens sent with no parental influence meant that many were going to come under the wing of MS-13 as their new family. And that’s exactly what happened, as we saw dozens of our young students, primarily in minority areas, slaughtered by these gang members.
In response, the Department of Justice became involved and put on a full-court press. Their aggressive tactics worked. We haven’t seen another student slaying since. Meanwhile, the horrific policy decision by the Suffolk County government in 2012 to stop cooperating with the feds — thereby helping the MS-13 gang metastasize on Long Island — was reversed after the killings. School resource officers from the county police were doing a fine job in monitoring potential gang activity. But then an article parroting the radical, illegal immigration lobbyist front persuaded some naïve residents and administrators to push back on the aggressive efforts of the resource officers, and basically told them to stand down.
This was all because a single student was spotted by a resource officer as being a suspected gang member. His name was forwarded to the feds and they deported him. The student, like any other individual, was entitled to due process. But it is sheer lunacy for many parents and administrators to have come down hard on the resource officer, who was simply doing his job and trying to protect our innocent young students.
The youngster showed three things warranting further investigation. He was wearing blue sneakers — the color associated with the gang. He was also brandishing the area code of his hometown, a frequent gang indicator, and he possessed numerous drawings of the devil (which, he noted, was the school’s mascot). Of course, none of these items standing alone would be enough to send up any red flags. But when taken all together, it was certainly warranted to at least initiate an investigation. The feds must have found something to believe that the individual had gang affiliation, yet many parents and do-gooders were out in full force at a school board meeting demanding that resource officers stop doing their job. If there was an overreach in this particular case, deal with it, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
It must have seemed to these folks that the killings of our students by the MS-13 members was ancient history. And then, last week, a stabbing occurred, which should be a wakeup call to many naïve individuals who pander to the radical elements within our society, as opposed to focusing, first and foremost, on protecting our children.
We are the grownups. Our children depend on us for their safety. Stop playing politically correct games and do your job as a parent and as leaders of the community and protect them from gang assaults.
Steve Levy is president of Common Sense Strategies, a political consulting firm. He served as Suffolk county executive, as a NYS assemblyman, and host of “The Steve Levy Radio Show.”