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Yoga, Meditation Lessons Work for Some Teens

Students at alternative high school in New York don't bother changing clothes for their yoga lesson.

NEW YORK — On a sunny school day last year, the last thing 20 teenagers seemed interested in was a yoga class. Most hadn’t even bothered changing out of their jeans, leather jackets and baseball caps. Despite appearances, one in particular was different.

John was a senior at Humanities Preparatory Academy, a small alternative public high school for students deemed at-risk, yet with the academic potential to attend college. He’s been assigned to the yoga class for the past three years.

“I thought it would just be a class of breathing, just calming the body down, that’s it,” said John, 18.

At-risk youth are those under 18 who are likely to drop out of school for a variety of reasons: substance abuse problems, a troubled home life or getting into trouble with the law. Trauma, poverty and violence often factor in as well. Continue Reading →

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No Sentencing Yet for NY Gang Suspects

JJIE New York Metro Bureau logo

Friends and family of 35 alleged gang members from west Harlem filled the courthouse today. But decisions never came, leaving families frustrated and suspects awaiting judgment amid hostile tension in jail. Continue Reading →

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Sentencing of NY Gang Members Unlikely to Be Last Chapter in Harlem

Police roundup of gang members

NEW YORK — Residents of the Grant and Manhattanville housing projects in west Harlem have been subjected to a deadly gang rivalry spanning generations. This past June, the New York Police Department unleashed a squad of more than 500 police officers to raid the housing complexes and make arrests.

Six months later, the alleged gang members – ages 15 to 30 – wait to receive their sentences Wednesday. The NYPD maintains that arresting more than 100 potentially violent criminals in one fell swoop was a triumph.

Family, friends and neighbors wonder if this is simply a stopgap solution. Continue Reading →

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