The Texas Penal Code, Chapter 71.10 defines a criminal street gang as: Three or more persons having a common identifying sign or symbol or an identifiable leadership who continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities.
Absolutely not. Determining affiliation with a gang is based upon many factors and cannot be based upon clothing alone. Like putting together a puzzle, the many factors involved in identifying such persons must fit together and support the facts.
As stated in question 2, you cannot make determinations to support your suspicions based solely upon one factor. Some of the indicators/signs that you can look for to see if your child is involved with a gang are:
New friends with whom you are unfamiliar and who display some of the gang indicators/signs. Pulling away from or alienating themselves from long time old friends.
A new style of dress which is uncharacteristic of the child.
The consistent wearing of certain colors which their friends appear to wear as well.
The child is very secretive about his/her activities and their friends.
Possession or use of drugs and/or alcohol.
Gang related graffiti in their rooms, on your home, on their school papers/books, or on their persons.
Unusual and irrational fear of the Police.
Discipline or grade problems at school.
Talks about his/her “crew” when referring to friends.
Staying out late or “hanging out” in new areas.
Possession of weapons (Firearms, altered clubs, knives).
Unexplainable possession of spray paint cans or permanent markers.
Bragging about the “crew” or the “homies”, and not being afraid to die.
Watching films/videos or listening to music that obviously glorifies the gangster lifestyle.
Loss of interest in sports or family activities.
Unexplainable injuries which may be caused from gang fights or being “jumped-in” to a gang.
Threats from other gangs/gang members against your child made by phone, in person, or in writing.