The gang problem in the county is due to a lack of parents being involved in raising their kids, the need for education for parents and their kids, and the cycle of poverty of no job, no education that continues from generation to generation.
I grew up in Merced County, and I am keenly aware of the poor schooling I received and the kinds of jobs I did to get out of there and into California State University, Fresno.
After five years of teaching in Fresno City Schools, I had to escape to the Bay Area and pursue another field in order to be able to support my family.
Parents need to step up an take responsibility for raising their kids. It's also the responsibility of those school boards and employers who hold the purse strings in the wealthiest county during harvest and the most poverty ridden in the winter.
PAUL DE LANDA