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Rogue Gangs
KTVL CBS Channel 10 :: News - Rogue Gangs - Middle school gang influence

Middle school gang influence

By David De Rurange/KTVL.com MEDFORD, Ore. -- Going from grade school to middle school can be a difficult transition for kids. Adding gang influences to that transition, doesn't help.     Kimmie Wilson grew up attending the same schools her kids go to. While taking her son Corey to school last Thursday, she spoke to News 10 about the changing influences developing in her community, including gang influences. Corey and his older brother have already been asked to join a gang. The invitation came from a kid who had just moved to their neighborhood from Los Angeles. "He had come up to both of my kids and asked them if they would like to be in a low gang member." Wilson said. "My husband and I both came out and asked him why he would say something like that and he's all 'oh I was just joking.'" Corey's mom wasn't laughing. It's Corey's last school year at Jefferson Elementary. Next Fall, he'll be going to McLoughlin Middle School. He voiced  concerns about the transition, relating what happened to his older brother, years ago, while walking home from McLoughlin. "My brother got jumped. He was walking home and these people came out and jumped him. Just started out and...came out...and beat him up." Corey said. Kimmie said the attack came from a gang. "It's not just one-on-one fighting, it's like ten-to-fifteen-on-one." she said. Authorities with the Medford Area Drug and Gang Task Force (M.A.D.G.E.) said incident like what happened to Corey's brother are rare, but they do happen. With 314 documented gang members and associates in Jackson County, Lieutenant Brett Johnson said gangs begin affecting kids as they finish grade school and go into middle school. "It's everywhere." Johnson said. "For anybody to put their head in the sand and say that it's not here, they're mistaken." Faculty at McLoughlin say they work closely with police to prevent gang influences.  Assistant Principal Rick Parsagian said personally, he has never had a student say he or she is threatened by gangs. "Certainly there are some wannabe influences, some to a certain extent, I'm sure there are. How much gang activity there actually is? Very hard to say. I'm sure it's really low for gang activity... I don't believe we're any different than any other school. But I also believe that there's influences out there, and we have to help them with those influences." Parsagian said. Parsagian said children concerned about transitioning to middle school should talk about it with school leaders. "The influence is what I'm really worried about." Wilson said.  "We've had issues of bullying and I had to step forward and do something about it, and it's starting to show now. People are now more aware of the bullying issues." Lt. Johnson said gang techniques are a 'bullying behavior.' Such behavior is something Wilson hopes Corey and your children will avoid as they transition to middle school.Middle school gang influence

Saturday, August 3 2013, 02:17 PM CDT
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