Teens And Gangs: A Discussion

We often hear about gangs after a shooting or some other trouble they've caused. But rarely do we hear about the majority of teenagers -- those who choose to not only stay out of gangs -- but follow the law.

"I don't want to be involved in the wrong thing. So everyone should keep a tab on their friends friends," said Tielar Clark, who sat down with three of her friends recently to talk about the recent rash of violence. In one weekend there were ten shootings.

"When I saw what they were capable of -- I didn't want to hang with them so I stopped," said Jose Dimayuja, who admits it isn't easy -- but he works hard to know who his friend of his friends are.

"If you're in a gang and you don't have parents...you're getting the love from the gang," said Hederlin Mejia. She knows association means everything and sometimes you have to walk away from who you thought was a friend.

Reporter: "Isn't that hard, you're not the cool kid anymore?"
Zach Black: "No. Because I guess they want me to be in their gang. I don't want to be in no gang cause I don't want to be shot. I have a life."

"It won't stop. That's what is sad about it," said Jose as he explained how gangs foster of cycle of revenge and rivalry.

Zach: "If my kid wanted to be in a gang I would be devastated."

While gangs offer money and power and prestige for many -- that helps says the teens in knowing who to stay away from.

"Some kids listen. Some want to test the waters."

And if there's one piece of advice for parents, Tielar believes caring will go a long way -- "Be involved no matter what. If he is 6 or 16 or 26, be involved. Let that kid know that I love you."

These teens all participated in a recent public forum tackling gang violence as a part of the "Completely Kids" program.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WOWT NBC Omaha 3501 Farnam Street Omaha, NE 68131 (402) 346-6666 sixonline@wowt.com
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 166598566 - wowt.com/a?a=166598566