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The Preschooler and Prejudice

November 24, 1985

Allow me to add a postscript to the John Dreyfuss article in the View section Nov. 6, "A Child's Palette of Pre-Prejudice."

I applaud Louise Derman-Sparks in her efforts to educate the preschooler in the area of prejudice. But how do you reach the parents, the hard-core racists, who teach their children to discriminate?

My child, at the tender age of 3, was told by another 3-year-old that her mother said she could not play with him because he was black.

My son was perplexed, and asked me what she meant. I sat him down and educated him to the "facts of life" as clearly and simply as I could so that he would understand. My husband and I were attempting to bring up our children to judge people according to their worth, not the color of their skin, their religion or their national origin. Although my son has had many other similar incidents occur, not only in California (which is by far the worst) but in other states that we have lived in or traveled to, I am happy to say, at age 18, and a freshman in college, he is a happy, well-adjusted man, in addition to being well-informed.

My only hope is that Ms. Derman-Sparks' concept catches on at other preschools and in other states, then perhaps by the beginning of the next century we will have a population of young adults who are informed on this subject as ignorance breeds fear, which leads to the end-product--our society as it functions today.

MARJORIE A. PETERSON

Northridge

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