Dwelling on mistakes kids make does not help them mature...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 18, 2001

Dwelling on mistakes kids make does not help them mature

As a St. Paul's School alumnus, I have found it difficult to swallow all of the posturing from our esteemed adults at The Sun and around the community.

In today's society, telling 15- and 16-year-old kids not to have sex because of their immaturity is in direct contrast to what they see and hear every day, from the time they wake up until they go to bed.

The real lesson that should be taken from this tragedy is that you will have to be held responsible for your actions and the actions of those people you associate with.

We should be reinforcing the idea that there are choices our kids will have to make by themselves, and all we can do as adults is support them unconditionally.

And if our kids do make bad decisions, it doesn't necessarily mean that we are bad examples, bad parents or have failed as a teacher or as a school. The administration and the teachers at St Paul's School have always done a wonderful job making sure students understand about responsibility and consequences.

Saying that they must be "castigating themselves for their undetected failures as teachers and mentors" is offensive at best ("Lessons from the St. Paul's incident," April 10). Even the best children, under the best supervision, make mistakes.

Instead of sermonizing to our children, let's help them understand how to be better adults, not dwell on their inadequacies.

Shane P. Tanzymore

Owings Mills

Kids aren't ready to handle decisions on sexual conduct

Thank you to Susan Reimer for hitting the nail on the head on the St Paul's School situation ("Lessons from the St. Paul's incident," April 10). All parents should read her column with their children.

I am a parent of five children, and I am tired of the focus of this appalling situation being on the videotaping. It is not only about the victimization of our daughters. It is also about the responsibility we have as parents to express to our children that sexual decisions are adult decisions.

A ninth-grade child should not be making decisions about oral sex or sexual intercourse. It is too overwhelming for most 15-year-olds to understand the consequences of such decisions.

The sad fact is that many parents do not recognize that our children are forced to make these decisions too often. It is our job as parents to at least try to help them avoid these situations.

We as adults should be focusing on the entire set of events. Although we cannot change completely the high school party scene, we can use this as an example of children getting in way over their heads.

Christine Landy

Baltimore

Poor parenting lies at root of videotaping incident

The Sun's article ("St. Paul's lacrosse scandal precipitates soul-searching," April 8) infuriated me. This is not a story of athletes, wealth and status in high school. This is about children who have had a lousy upbringing.

It is about parents, not children, who have been too self-absorbed to realize that they need to teach children right from wrong and respect for other human beings. The parents who feel that the punishment is too harsh should count their blessings that their sons haven't been indicted on child pornography charges.

This incident could be the best thing that ever happens to these boys. And maybe the parents will remember to teach their children that sports and popularity are not what counts, or what turns a kid into a decent adult.

Ronni Pearl

Lutherville

Overlooking needs of the girl whose privacy was violated

I have been following in The Sun the story of the St. Paul's School lacrosse team and the horrific videotape incident.

I've read of the punishments to the offenders; however, I have not seen anywhere the administrators of St. Paul's offering any type of counseling to the innocent young lady involved in this matter.

Is it just me who thinks she has been the overlooked party in this whole mess? Isn't her healing as important as the boys on the team?

Lauraetta Tucker

Baltimore

Ban harvest of females to replenish crab supply

It really doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to increase the crab population ("Protection now for blue crab," editorial, April 7).

I have been crabbing for 65 years and have seen the decrease in crabs. Thirty years ago we were only allowed one female crab per dozen. Five years later we were allowed to keep as many as we wanted; the crabs decreased.

The solution is to put a moratorium on catching female crabs.

Charles Hajek

Oliver Beach

Cutting taxes should be a moral imperative

The Sun's editorial "Message to Senate: Look before you leap" (April 6), failed to present a full picture of the Bush tax cut.

According to The Sun, the economy may be heading into a recession and, if that occurs, government revenues will be reduced and the money for tax cuts may be needed to fund government programs.

However, each time tax rates are reduced, the revenues coming into the government increase, because workers work more when they get to keep more of their money, and the entire economy grows.

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