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How to Leave a Gang



How to Leave a Gang
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.65

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Eckerd, extricate, gang-free, extracurricular, dead-end, baggy, cops, tagging, better, gang, busted, graduate, teen, principal, loyal, public


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How to Leave a Gang
By Brenda B. Covert
  

1     K.G. Eckerd (known as Cagey) was a teen with a plan. He wanted to graduate from high school. He hoped to get a good job, get married, and have children some day. He wanted to own a house with a pool, a cool car, and a motorcycle. There was just one snag in his plans. Cagey was in a gang.
 
2     He had been in it for several years. At the time, fighting, tagging, stacking, destroying public property, and avoiding the cops with his people had appealed to his sense of adventure and belonging. Unfortunately, over time many of his friends had gotten busted and sent away. Then he watched his best friend bleed to death after a bad fight with a rival gang. Belonging to a gang began to seem like a dead-end street. Cagey wanted out. His grades were poor, but he thought he could work hard to bring them up. His biggest concern was breaking ties with the gang and his friends who were still loyal to it. What would they do to him? How could he break free?
 
3     There are several steps Cagey can take to extricate himself from gang involvement. It will take courage and perseverance.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
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