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SF Officials Take Back 'Gang' Comment

June 28, 2010, 10:31 AM

SIOUX FALLS, SD - School officials and police in Sioux Falls say gangs are not a problem near elementary schools.

A school improvement grant application being considered by the state initially said students at Lowell Elementary were at risk of being recruited by gangs in the area.

Lowell Principal Twaine Fink says he's seen no evidence of gang activity in his school. Police spokesman Sam Clemens also says gangs are not a problem in elementary schools.

The grant application was for $6.5 million in federal money to make changes at Axtell Park's Family Immersion Center and nine elementaries with high poverty. It included a request for an after-school program at Lowell that cited "increasing signs of gang activity in the neighborhood."

After district and state officials met to discuss the application, some parts of the request were removed, including the after-school program.

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