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A father's communication
By David De Rurange/KTVL.com
WHITE CITY, Ore. -- Preventing gang activity starts in the home. Just ask Jesus Sevilla. He's a White City father doing what he can to keep his teenage son away from gangs. One of those things was attending a gang awareness meeting.
At the meeting, the Oregon National Guard showed families self-defense. It's one of topics, Jesus learned for his family. He said the gang influence is spreading all around him.
Medford Police Officer Ian McDonald spoke about his exclusive relationship with Teddy Sanchez., a local teen who died as a result of gang relations.
"One day he gets confronted by somebody who we still believe is a rival was Sureno affiliated or rival, that came up to him and said, 'you still bangin'? What's up?'" McDonald said. "And he said, 'no no, I don't do that, I'm a family man now. If you are a gang member and you gave it up, good on ya. I care. Police care.Your parents care. You know who doesn't care? Rival gang members. You still got it. He still had the tattoo on his face. The person who confronted him pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the chest. Teddy Sanchez died at age 18."
Weeks after the gang awareness meeting, Jesus brought his 15-year-old son Luis to speak with News 10 during a work break. In the 13 years Jesus has lived in White City, he says he's seen the gang problem get worse. Luis said many of his friends are in gangs. Yet, Luis maintains his 4.0 GPA -- and his distance from gang affiliation.
"I always see some people who start doing bad stuff, like joining gangs. He told me that if I wanted to do good in life I should keep on studying. I trust him." Luis said.
Luis' dad said he guides his family with trust, friendship and open communication.
"My children talk about everything with me and my wife. In reality, that makes me feel good, because there's a lot of communication." Jesus said.
Whether it's with a mentor or a parent, Jesus said a child needs a channel of clear communication, instead of miscommunication, like what happened in the Teddy Sanchez gang-related murder.
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