Naval Academy lost at sea on honor codeLet me get this...

LETTERS

August 04, 1996

Naval Academy lost at sea on honor code

Let me get this right. At the U.S. Naval Academy, a plebe, one of those pathetic subhuman grunts who are regularly stopped by upperclassmen and made to perform push-ups, may be expelled for "fraternizing" with an upperclassman. That is to say, if an upperclassman superior has sex with a plebe subordinate, then it is the subordinate, not the superior, who is at fault and who is expelled.

Furthermore, the subordinate is at fault even though she resides at Bancroft Hall where she is forbidden to lock her door, and where her superior may descend at any moment for unannounced inspections. The plebe is supposed to simply resist her superior's advances, and if he persists, to report him. Only, of course, she should make sure that she has 10 eyewitnesses to the event or else she will be deemed unreliable and will be expelled under the Honor Code for lying.

Furthermore, her superiors think they have it rough, because when they return home to the academy drunk, they are now expected to be "sensitive" to their subordinates' desire not to be raped.

What your article makes clear is that when it comes to honor, the Naval Academy has none. The academy should have long ago defined an upperclassman's act of sex with a subordinate as an act of statutory rape, similar to a teacher's act of sex with a child in the seventh grade.

The academy should also long ago have told midshipmen that intoxication is not an excuse for unethical behavior. Similarly, nTC lapses in judgment on naval property, due to intoxication, should be unacceptable. The Navy, after all, is not supposed to tolerate substance abuse of any kind.

It is ludicrous that the Naval Academy does not expect its senior midshipmen to be sober while on academy grounds. Furthermore, we find it amazing that the Naval Academy, which is so careful of its honor in such matters as lying about dinner engagements, needs to be told these things. Perhaps it would be wise for the Naval Academy to ask civilian ethicists or its sister services for help salvaging its honor code, since the academy is so woefully at sea where honor is concerned.

Shari de Silva

Shirin de Silva

Laurel

Gary's plan reeks of hypocrisy

The John Gary administration seems to have adopted a Machiavellian philosophy in its dealings with the public employees. This cavalier attitude toward public employees who have not received an across-the-board pay raise in three years, and whose pension benefits are now being threatened while higher-echelon appointed public officials are seeking large pay raises for themselves, reeks of hypocrisy and unmitigated gall.

The Gary administration must lead by example. If the public employees are being asked to bite the economic bullet, then all in the administration must bite the bullet as well.

James J. Riley

Pasadena

Media should not jump to conclusions

I think Sally Thorner, WJZ-TV, showed very poor taste when she blurted out the question, "Do you think the boy was pushed?" It was Monday, July 22 on the 5 o'clock evening news on WJZ-TV. Sally Thorner and Richard Shea were reporting on a story about two little boys who were playing near the water and one of the children, Ronald Russo, fell in and drowned.

After the grandfather and mother were on TV, naturally very distraught, was when Sally made the statement about the little ++ boy being pushed in the water by the other little boy.

During the grandfather's interview, he was the first one to say he felt the boy was pushed. The police said they felt this was not true.

I felt it was very poor journalism and very bad taste for Sally to direct the question to Richard Shea on how the child died.

Little Ronald is gone, our hearts go out to his family. We have another little child to consider. He ran and tried to get help for Ronald. Let's not mark this child or his family for life by our thoughtless words on the media.

Marge Griffith

Pasadena

Pub Date: 8/04/96

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