Muddied MessageWe wonder why our society is as messed-up...


May 03, 1994

Muddied Message

We wonder why our society is as messed-up and violent as it is. Yet we reward people like Rodney King with $3.8 million.

I'm not saying that the Los Angeles police officers should have beat him. But would they have gone to such extremes if Mr. King had followed the police's instructions, just as the other passengers in his car did?

If we are going to give the police the responsibility and authority to keep order and protect us, then let them do their job.

In this new world of political correctness, the criminal is the one with the most rights, and I find it disgusting.

What kind of message are we sending our children? One clear as mud.

Tricia Zenger


Why Intervene

Talk about a play on words: We now have Rep. John Kerry, D-Mass., making a distinction between our national security interests and our vital national interests to justify intervention in Bosnia.

Why do these politicians resort to such semantics? It's disgusting.

Intervention in Bosnia can't be justified on any basis other than a humanitarian effort and hope to stop the killing, which won't stop as history clearly demonstrates.

Humanitarians like Mr. Kerry want America to be the world's policeman, and so does the rest of the world, it seems.

Yes, it is an almost irresistible temptation to pervert our military power for the purpose of policing the world. Why not? We have such an overwhelming abundance of it.

If policing the world as a humanitarian effort is not enough justification for you, think of it as a jobs program. All aboard, folks, let's get on that jobs program (aka slippery slope) in Bosnia.

Let's bomb and strafe a few Serbian positions, then a few bridges to Serbia, then Belgrade, and by that time we've lost a few planes and pilots, all of which can be replaced by more made in the good old U.S.A.

Of course, that won't work to stop the killing, but we can introduce a few thousand soldiers, sailors and airmen for the purpose of prying the Serbs out of the countryside, just like we did in Vietnam.

That may or may not work but it sure creates jobs, and then we can turn our attention to Africa.

What a splendid list of opportunities for policing there, and it creates jobs, jobs, jobs, for diplomats and politicians, U.N. bureaucrats and, oh yes, lots of jobs for doctors and nurses because they can patch up the wounded civilians and military, so these people can go back out and get wounded again or killed.

Hurrah for jobs, hurrah for intervention, for policing, and a special hurrah for our vital national interests.

Zhenning Guo


Inclusion Programs Can Work

A series of recent letters in The Sun discussed four interlocking issues vital to our community -- the inclusion of children who are severely emotionally disturbed into regular classrooms, the problem of violence directed at teachers by one such student, the lack of adequate training and supports for teachers who work with these children and the lack of adequate resources to support these children in regular classrooms.

The Mental Health Association of Metropolitan Baltimore supports "inclusion programs" as long as there is adequate preparation, supports, resources, training and especially family participation and involvement in all levels of planning and implementation.

We view inclusion programs as an important step toward our goal of eliminating discrimination against all citizens who suffer from mental illness, mental disorders and other disabilities.

The association adheres to the principle that all citizens, including teachers, administrators and students, have an inalienable right to live and work in an environment free from violence and intimidation.

We support the position that students should be held accountable and responsible for their behavior. When behavior is related to an emotional disability, appropriate changes must be made in the student's treatment and educational plan. When it is not, usual school procedures should be implemented.

We also support letter writer Patricia E. Gauger's concerns about stigmatization of children with emotional disorders.

Stigma creates an environment in the classroom where the vital sense of belonging and the nurturing of good self esteem is hampered. These conditions continue into adulthood. The elimination of stigma against mental illness must start at the beginning of a child's life experience -- in our homes, playgrounds, religious institutions and classrooms.

We do not deny the need for increased special educational services and placements outside the regular classroom for specific children when documented and evaluated. We urge that all efforts possible be made to maintain a child in a neighborhood school and in a manner that is safe for all involved and educationally sound.

Yvonne M. Perret

Theo Lemaire

The writers represent the Mental Health Association of Metropolitan Baltimore.

Easy Antidote to Unfair Representation

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