Don't blame athletics for the misbehavior of some...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 09, 2001

Don't blame athletics for the misbehavior of some adolescents

Although I agree with Susan Reimer that the St. Paul's School administration "made the right choice" in terms of punishment, I was disappointed in several of her gross generalizations and not-so-subtle condemnations of student-athletes ("St. Paul's makes right choice," April 4)

Her theme appeared to be that student-athletes are more prone to bad acts than other students and that society needs to be on guard against these "jocks."

She wrote of "the jock culture of omnipotence and entitlement that allowed this to happen." Is Ms. Reimer saying that if these teen-agers had not been athletes this incident would not have happened?

Come on: This incident could have just as easily involved the debating team as the lacrosse team. It just would not have been as publicized as it was because it involved the No. 1 ranked lacrosse team.

Most student-athletes are to be commended for participating in sports that require a great deal of time and work and instill a work ethic that serves the student-athlete well for the rest of his or her life.

The problems we encounter with teen-agers (and adults for that matter) cross all boundaries. They are the product of our children being inundated with violence and sex everywhere they turn, not of their participation in athletics.

In fact, participation in athletics helps many kids avoid the bad influences that surround them in their daily lives.

Lynnie Brugh

Richmond, Va.

Taping incident exemplifies our disrespect for women

The behavior of the young men in the St. Paul's School videotape incident speaks to a much greater problem: a blatant lack of respect for women.

Their behavior is simply one example of how the lack of respect for women pervades our society. This is apparent in cases of abuse, rape and other forms of sexual misconduct.

While I agree with the sanctions the school imposed, I also suggest the young men be invited to participate in community service at a battered women's shelter.

Maybe it would provide a way for them to reflect on their recent behavior, rather than simply mourn the forfeiture of their lacrosse season.

Tracee M. Orlove

Baltimore

Boys from St. Paul's School keep homeless shelter going

We regretted seeing The Sun's upsetting article on the suspension of the St. Paul School for Boys' lacrosse team ("St. Paul's suspends boys lacrosse team," March 30). As chairpersons for Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church Homeless Shelter, we want to affirm the great respect we have for the boys in the school and our gratitude for their support of our shelter.

For the past five years, a series of remarkable student coordinators have recruited St. Paul's students to provide dinners and stay with our eight homeless men each Tuesday night from November to April. We couldn't run our shelter without the boys from St. Paul's School.

There is a very good side to so many of these boys, whether they are on the lacrosse team or not.

Donald Lynne

Susan Lynne

Lutherville

Canceling season shows school knows what matters

On the Sunday between the incident involving members of the lacrosse team at St. Paul's School and the resolution of the incident, my family prayed for all involved and for a just resolution.

Since our culture often does not support families in the moral education of our children, we feared St. Paul's decisions would once provide evidence to our son that sports, popularity, winning and other lesser values trump decency every time.

We were, therefore, incredibly heartened by St. Paul's decision ("St Paul's School cancels varsity lacrosse season," April 4) that its priority is not sports, but the formation of boys into men.

Mary Duston Lidinsky

Baltimore

It's misguided to blame guns for acts of violence

Michael Olesker's column "Proponents of guns have misguided opinions" (March 29) should have been titled "Opponents of guns have misguided opinions."

It fascinates me how anti-gun types such as Mr. Olesker can so confidently blame guns for the actions of human miscreants. These people do not apply this notion to anything else, only firearms.

If a person grabs a knife from the kitchen counter and goes out and kills 30 people with it, there's no cry for more "knife control." If a person drives an auto on to the Inner Harbor promenade at noon, they do not scream that "easy access to cars" is the cause of the crime.

Only firearms are said to act on their own.

Keith Batcher

Bel Air

When more people have guns, more of them will be misused

Michael Olesker's column "Proponents of guns have misguided opinions" (March 29) hit the nail on the head. The more guns sold and the more people who have guns, the more people are going to misuse them or have accidents involving guns.

The humanistic National Rifle Association wants to add gun safety to the school curriculum for one reason -- to increase gun sales. It boils down to greed.

Let me remind those who say gun ownership is a right that this is for guns used in a militia to fight foreign invaders.

Bill Huppert

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