ST. MARY PARISH, La. (KLFY) – Concerns over gang activity in St. Mary Parish schools has officials wanting to implement a gang related policy.

“Gangs are becoming, or gang membership is becoming more prevalent on our school campuses. Schools are forming school gangs, as well as they are becoming associated with community related gangs,” Kenneth Holmes, Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance said.

Because of this concern from administration and the community Holmes said a policy is being proposed to be implemented.

“For the overall safety and the general welfare of our students, the St. Mary Parish School Board explicitly discourages and strongly recommend that all students not become member of any school or community related gangs,’ Holmes said.

School board members will vote on the new gang policy at a future meeting.

The St. Mary Parish School Board Discipline Committee also reviewed their policies on vaping and tobacco to see if harsher consequences involving law enforcement is needed.

Holmes continued to lead the discussion on cell phone usage while on school grounds were discussed, as well consequences for elementary school students.

“So they’re asking us to make the consequences the same as for pre-k through five as they are for six through twelve,” he said.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Buffy Fegenbush said it’s important to review their policies as it helps to keep students safe.

“I just think it’s really important that we recognize the voices of those who are in our community. Especially our administrators, our teachers who are working daily with our students so that we can support policies and procedures that help us to ensure our students are ready to go out into the world to be successful,” Fegenbush said.

School board officials will vote on the proposals made by the committee at a later date to be ready for the upcoming school year in the fall. The disciple committee agenda can be found here.