HOUSTON — Clown faces. Red shoe laces. The Houston skyline. The Texans logo. A dog paw.
It might look like a random list, but It’s not. These are all symbols worn by Houston-area gangs. And parents need to pay attention.
Gangs are running rampant in Houston-area streets and they’re in our schools too.
Upscale neighborhoods, suburbs and small towns aren’t immune to the problem.
“They are selling drugs to our kids, shooting up our neighborhoods, invading our homes, robbing our banks and stores, stealing our identities, our money, and instilling fear and violence everywhere they go,” according to the FBI.
It’s easier than ever for the gangs to recruit new members through social media and video-sharing websites.
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Like child predators, they often prey on kids who are lonely and seeking attention.
Some school districts sweep the problem under the rug, but Pasadena ISD is facing it head-on. They compiled a list of banned, potentially gang-related items that every parent should read.
We’ve added additional gang-related symbols, words, letters and numbers provided by stophoustongangs.org
Many of the items are also popular with non-gang members, so parents need to look at the big picture.
CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES Bandanas: It’s no secret that bandanas are often associated with gangs and most districts banned them years ago. If your kid insists on wearing them outside of school, you should start asking questions.
Colors: The same applies if he or she favors wearing the same color all the time and refuses to wear other common colors. Houston-area gang colors include red, blue, black, white and green. Some gangs don’t have a color and others have backed off wearing them to fool police.
Pants: Baggy pants, overly starched pants or pants worn below the waist; rolling up either pant leg or gathering and folding the bottom pant cuff; Dickies brand
Shoelaces: Red or blue shoe laces, untied shoelaces (this is also a fashion trend so don’t panic if your son or daughter is doing it)
Sports attire: Pasadena ISD bans all college and professional sport teams’ attire, unless approved by the school. This includes the old-school Houston Astros open or broken star logo associated with a well-known Houston gang. The ban includes the Houston Texans logo, Houston Rockets logo and the Houston Oilers logo.
Gang paraphernalia: Any and all items with gang symbols, hand signs, initials and names which depict violence or violent behavior affiliated with gang membership that are on clothing, belts, belt buckles, shoes or jewelry
Belts: According to stophoustongangs.org, long white or black belts are worn by some gangs.
Rosaries: The Rosary used as a necklace or any religious depictions mixed with gang symbols; HPD specifies white or black rosaries are tied to Houston gangs
Black rosary, belt Houston police say black rosaries and long black belts are worn by certain Houston gangs. stophoustongangs.org Others: Any clothing depicting gangs, mobsters, drugs, alcohol, or firearms; anything depicting the Houston skyline unless approved by the school; Confederate flag or swastika emblems
SYMBOLS USED BY GANGS Gangs use a variety of symbols to identify themselves and some will surprise you.
Pitchfork pointing up or down
The Joker playing card
“Smile now … cry later” masks
Three-pointed or five-pointed crowns
Five-pointed or six-pointed stars; five-pointed star with the letter “H” within or on top of the star
Three dots in a triangle formation
Satanic symbols such as pentagrams or the devil’s head; Pasadena ISD also bans skull rings, another popular fashion trend
Additional gang symbols from stophoustongangs.org: Flames; pyramid; Nickle coin; Texas capitol building; 3D star with ATX; B, C, M, P, LP or TP hand signs; solid star with outline; crossed 45-calibur pistols; finger pointing gun; heart with horns and devil’s tail; palm trees shaped in V; Spurs logo; cartoon cholo; #21 in five-point star; hollow star with outline; devil’s pitchfork; Texans logo
Gang symbol notebooks Gang symbols, numbers and letters might be found on notebooks, drawings, photos, pictures, decals, stickers, backpacks, binders, folders, book covers, even toys. stophoustongangs.org WORDS BLOOD