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Mother Upset by Columnist's Views

August 16, 1987

Al Martinez had a field day on July 30 raking me over the coals for having the audacity to speak out against the Culver City Public School District concerning an obscene book. Labeled "instructional material," the book was available to our children, from sixth grade and up, at our school library.

Being a parent in today's society requires that we do a lot of apologizing. We take potshots daily from the written media, the spoken media and from those to whom we entrust our children for their education. We are usually portrayed as incompetent, uncaring and neglectful. Al Martinez, not knowing one of us parents, took it upon himself to label us as "God-fearing, smut-hating Christian ladies . . . smut-watchers."

Today our children are taught to ridicule their parents. There was a time in our society when children were taught to respect them.

I do believe that the Hispanic community tenaciously still attempts to hold on to this virtue. With a name like Martinez I would expect a little empathy for parents from Al. Apparently he has ceased to be Hispanic? Too bad, Al. You've given up a great treasure.

Over the last several years, we parents have not fared well. We've lost most of our parental rights.

Of course, when we parents complain, we're thrown to the wolves.

I don't believe anyone will argue that families are the building blocks and foundation of our society. With today's "open season" on the family, however, we are seeing the upper echelon of our society beginning to waver and reel. We shouldn't be surprised.

So what do we do? How about reversing our course? How about reevaluating how we portray parents and families and see what we can do to support rather than undermine them?

I believe Al Martinez owes a word of apology to all those he victimized by his satirizing such a serious issue.

MARCELLA MELENDEZ

Culver City

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