Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 10, 2005

A 12-year-old bears no blame for sexual abuse

A 12-year-old girl cannot have a sexual "relationship" with a 24-year-old man. But she certainly can be sexually abused by him. That's what happened to Quartrina K. Johnson's foster sister.

Jason T. Richards did not "pursue a relationship"; he pursued his prey so he could sexually abuse her ("Horror story of girl's death is a bitter cautionary tale," Aug. 3).

Children cannot consent to sex with adults. The imbalance of power makes that impossible. Perpetrators are skilled at using their power to manipulate children.

Gregory Kane wrote that both girls left with Mr. Richards "voluntarily." He opined that the young girl might have engaged in the "relationship" because she saw nothing wrong with it.

Those statements imply that a child shares some responsibility for her sexual abuse. That's wrong. Children are never responsible for being sexually abused. It is always the adult's responsibility.

It is also the responsibility of our society to shine a light on child sexual abuse rather than averting our gaze.

We have failed our kids. Let's not blame the victims.

Emily Samuelson

Towson

The writer is a psychiatrist who specializes in cases of sexual abuse.

Collapse of values empowers predators

Gregory Kane's column "Horror story of girl's death is a bitter cautionary tale" (Aug. 3) was one of the finest commentaries that I have ever read.

In a few words, Mr. Kane placed Quartrina K. Johnson's death in its distressing context: a young woman victimized not just by the vile Jason Richards but by the empowerment of such predators through our failure to teach young women the values and courage essential for their dignity and survival.

Recognizing evil after it has done great harm is not enough, nor is it enough to punish those responsible.

We must also recognize and embrace the cruel lessons of experience, which Mr. Kane so effectively placed before us.

Ken Muszynski

Tallahassee, Fla.

Lack of support turns teachers away

The Sun's editorial "Wanted: 6,000 teachers" (Aug. 1) failed to completely illuminate the teacher retention crisis.

Exit interviews of teachers, who leave the profession at alarming rates within the first few years of teaching, highlight the real areas that need to be addressed to solve our teacher shortage.

Many former teachers cite lack of administrative support, antagonistic parents, increasing student indifference or misbehavior, lack of freedom to be creative in the classroom and - as I know personally - inordinate paperwork.

The connecting theme is lack of teacher empowerment, and the trend is only getting worse.

The narrow focus on high-stakes testing, mandated by people outside the profession, is creating an environment that will only exacerbate the condition.

Instead of trying to entice people into teaching, we need to make a concerted effort, with teacher input, to improve teachers' work environment.

Edward Kitlowski

Baltimore

The writer is a special education teacher at Loch Raven High School.

Lawsuit may abet nation's enemies

So the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing New York City for its random bag checks on the subway ("N.Y. lawsuit seeks to halt random searches in subway," Aug. 5).

The ACLU has wasted the courts' precious time protecting the so-called rights of child molesters and hate groups. Now it is seeking to open the door for terrorists to strike the U.S. homeland once again.

If those terrorists are successful, could we, the American people, then sue or, better yet, bring criminal charges against the ACLU for aiding and abetting the enemy?

Sebastian Kurian

Parkton

How will Israel treat murderer of Arabs?

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is to be commended for characterizing as "a reprehensible act by a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist" the killing of four Arabs and wounding of a dozen more ("Israeli gunman kills 4 Arabs on bus," Aug. 5).

What remains to be seen is whether he will punish the family of the terrorist by bulldozing their home and arrest others who might be associated with him, as has been done in the case of Palestinian terrorists.

Such a waste of lives.

This land, which two peoples claim as their own, could be shared, with equal rights and opportunity for all, if the fanatics would allow it.

Doris Rausch

Ellicott City

Bush goes to ranch while soldiers suffer

During one of the bloodiest weeks for U.S. troops in war in Iraq, President Bush responded by leaving Washington for a five-week vacation on his ranch in Crawford, Texas ("White House aides talk to angry mother of dead soldier near Bush ranch," Aug. 7).

Mr. Bush is on track to take first place as the most-vacationed president in the history of the United States.

In fact, he will soon have accumulated an entire year spent at his Texas ranch since taking office in 2000.

Still, approximately 40 percent of Americans feel that Mr. Bush is doing a good job.

What has come to pass for good leadership in this country is on a par with what has come to pass as good television.

Doug Ebbert

Bel Air

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.