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Silent Message


   To the Editor,
   I am Nicolas Katchia, a Senior at Madras High and also the team leader for the youth development team. This past year, the team completed a film called "Silent Message." This film is about three teen characters that have been affected by child sexual abuse. From this film we hope to see people come out without fear and let us help them with their disclosures. We want people to know that there is help for this issue and that they are not alone. The film was shown to our high school on the 6th of December and disclosures have increased over the last few weeks. To our communities, please educate yourself and seek resources to help address the issue of child sexual abuse.
   I am Klesia Plazola and currently a freshman at Madras High. I joined the YDT to be a part of a culturally diverse team. The YDT is a big support team made up of students that attend Madras High and want to be there for our peers who have been sexually abused. We want to let them know that they are not alone and it is not their fault. It may be hard to come out but it is never to late to talk about it.
   I am Isac Zacarias and I am not a failing student. When I joined the Madras Youth Development Team, I wanted help our community and help our friends and families. We want teens to come forward and let them know that they are not alone, and we want to listen to their silent message. We as YDT want to open our arms for any teen who is in trouble or need of help. YDT wants to be heard throughout our community and state. We as teenagers want to step up and come forward for this message.
   I am Carlos Aguirre, a representative from Madras YDT and currently a sophomore at our high school. Being a member of the team means that we are "youth empowering youth" which means we speak up, lead and support our peers. On Dec. 6, we presented "Silent Message" to our peers. The reason for completing and showing the film in our school was to speak up and say that child sexual abuse is not OK. Teens act out in many ways because of abuse. Support and healing are the start to ending child sexual abuse.
   My name is Latoya Zacarias. I am 17 years old and this is my second year with the Madras High Youth Development Team. The YDT is a group of high school students trying to make a difference in our community. The YD. is committed to education and to positive change. The change we would like to see is less children being sexually abused. Also, I would like more people giving support to the ones who have or are being sexually abused. I just want to let other people (especially teens) know that it is not cool to make fun of those who have been hurt! It is hard enough for those who have been abused because everyday they have to live with shame and hate. It is not the victim's fault and it will never be!
   To the students of Madras High School and to our community, we have seen changes happening against child sex abuse and we will keep seeing a movement to change. As members of the YDT, we want child sexual abuse to stop! Please look deep down inside of yourself to truly understand what your role is in ending child sexual abuse.
   My name is Savenia Falquist and as the coordinator for the team I would like to express my deep admiration for the teens that have stayed committed to speaking out for other teens and children. Child sexual abuse affects teens in many ways -- underage drinking/drug use, teen pregnancy, lack of attachment to school, juvenile delinquency, promiscuity and other self-destructive behaviors. My message is please talk to the youths in your life. How can we expect young people to do better and be better if we don't support them through difficult times.
   My name is Gary Carlton and as principal of Madras High School I commend the work of our Madras Youth Development Team. They have given their time and energy towards a very meaningful school and community service project. The making of Silent Message has shed not only additional light on the devastating effects of child abuse but inspires a hope and healing. The students have not only worked as a team to successfully complete a highly educational film they have found a way to extend support and resources for those in need in our school and communities. Upon that fact they can take pride and to that end I say thank you to the YDT for making a positive difference at MHS.
   Voice from Madras High School