Up to ParentsIn regard to William S. Liebman's letter of...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 09, 1994

Up to Parents

In regard to William S. Liebman's letter of April 26 about home vs. school prayer, I would like to carry his well-addressed argument a few steps further.

Mr. Liebman states that ". . . schools are being asked to perform a role for which they not only are ill-suited, but which properly belongs to the parents." We as parents, teachers and legislators need to substitute the words "sex education," "drug awareness," "values clarification" and "death education" for the word "prayer."

As parents, we need to see our role more clearly and take responsibility for all areas of our child's learning experiences.

Teachers should be allowed to teach the academic "3 Rs" and not be forced to focus on the above areas.

Legislators must begin to realize that just because a few parents abrogate their responsibility as such, it doesn't mean that every parent does so. Encouragement from our leaders is better than laws and mandates for every aspect of life.

Jo Ann Beck

Baltimore

Rail Experience

As coincidence would have it, I took my first light-rail ride on the day before your April 26 feature article on the crime wave aboard the Mass Transit Administration.

Fortunately, my experience was no more costly than the $1.25 to travel from Timonium to the Camden Yards stop.

It was Saturday, and not a lot of people were on the train until we arrived at the North Avenue stop. A lot got on then.

We were jettisoning a car, so we had a long time at the stop. I had a great chance to take in the environment, including a couple of Baltimore City's finest youth with large stones in their hands.

It was at this point I realized how I had placed myself foolishly at risk. There was no security on our train, not even a ticket taker until the next stop. No one was ever asked to show proof of purchase, and I didn't blame them.

If any "event" had occurred, I would have had no exit and no protection. I was captive for the last 15 minutes of that ride . . .

When I met my wife, who had driven downtown, I related much of the kind of sentiment that your article mentioned.

As far as extending light rail to the Hunt Valley area, well, I guess that would be a great idea. Didn't a recent article in your paper point out that the mall there is the safest?

The light rail would certainly change that in a hurry.

Jim Althoff

Phoenix

Kurt Cobain

Mike Littwin's column April 15 was one of many that I read about the death of Kurt Cobain. that I really agreed with.

The weekend after Mr. Cobain's body was found by an electrician, three major newspapers featured front-page stories on the unfortunate suicide, one of them The Sun.

MTV played nothing but Nirvana videos, old band interviews or Nirvana Unplugged. MTV's Kurt Loder sadly remembered what a great musician Cobain had been, while urging teens who were thinking of suicide to call suicide hot-lines. Several radio stations played tributes to the late singer.

Time contained an article on the life and death of Mr. Cobain, and People had a cover story about him.

Mr. Littwin voiced my opinion well when he wrote, "Those most familiar with Cobain say that's everything he wouldn't have wanted. They say he hated hype." Hype is exactly what this is.

I feel that Mr. Cobain did not want to be the spokesman of "Generation X," but to speak for himself alone.

I doubt he asked to be the "voice of a generation." Maybe if he hadn't been forced to, he would still be alive today.

Katie McErlean

Columbia

Loving Young

I am dismayed that Susan Reimer believes (or at least gives enough credence to put into her April 18 column) in telling teen-aged girls "to wait for a better lover" -- that is, to wait for older men because boys aren't interested in giving pleasure.

Contrary to the old conservative canard about "babies having babies," 73 percent of all the babies born to girls under 20 are fathered by men over 20, according to the U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics. And the percentage gets higher the younger the girl gets.

Karen M. Davis

Maryland City

Why We Exonerate Nixon

To hear and read the media commentary since Richard Nixon's death on April 22, 20 years and his dying seem to have transformed the man who prolonged the Vietnam War five years beyond his election, covered up his role in Watergate, faced impeachment and received a highly unpopular presidential pardon into an elder statesman who, somehow during those two decades, managed to outlive his crimes and many of his accusers and recapture a place on the stage of world politics.

It is considered bad form to speak ill of the dead, even when they deserve it. And besides, in strictly human terms, anyway, death is its own victory over a dead person.

Removed from the scene, he or she is no longer a threat. We are free to remember only what is congenial to remember. For the first time now, we really won't have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore.

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