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'Appalled' at Decision in Drug Case

November 29, 1988

Iwas appalled to read of U.S. District Judge Harry Hupp's decision in the Paige case in Panorama City. Somehow, just because it appeared that drugs were not sold directly to children and because only Mrs. Paige's own children were used to sell, the judge concluded that there was no danger to children at the school across the street!

"When Congress talked about the schoolyard law, what they have in mind is danger to children at the school. This case is utterly devoid of any connection to the school. It's just a coincidence that the school was right across the street," Hupp said.

How can he understand the intent of the schoolyard law and not see the obvious perils in having drug sales across the street from a school? As a teacher, I'm aware that the neighborhood is part of the school's environment and does matter.

Are not children walking to and from school at risk just in having to walk past the criminals and deviates who have entered the neighborhood to buy drugs? Isn't the judge aware of how quickly neighborhoods degenerate into high crime areas under such circumstances? What if a deal went sour and someone began shooting? What if someone under the influence of these drugs ran over a child? Is this the environment in which we wish to raise and instruct our children? How could he not have considered questions such as these? Could it be that this liberal judge's children are safely dropped off and picked up at some private schoolhouse door each day?

The mere presence of a drug dealer across the street from a school does present a danger to the children. Until the rest of us have vouchers, we are stuck with the neighborhood school--even if it should happen to have a drug dealer across the street. Given that state of affairs, we need judges with more concern for protecting our children than for protecting the criminals who pose such serious threats to their young lives.

JOSEPHINE KNEISEL

Burbank

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