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Last Chance U

December 25, 1990

Re: your story on Last Chance U (Metro, Dec. 13), the plight of these children is a consequence of the interaction of an impoverished emotional status, which is frequently accompanied by an impoverished economic status, subculture mores that accept violence as a way of settling problems, tolerance of crime as a profession, a cultural habit of wasting resources, including human beings, the use of drugs to escape from our problems and ourselves, and an educational system that has yet to adapt to the realities of our diverse society. The steps being taken to help these children is typical of our throw-away society: create a problem, allow the problem to develop and spread, then institute half-way measures to address one aspect of that problem--in this case, failure in the regular classroom.

We must recognize the intrinsic value of every human being, of their status in society, that the child belongs to society, not to the parent, that all human beings have a right to a style of life that recognizes their humanity, and return to the tribal concept of a reciprocal responsibility between society and the individual, for the good of all.

RICHARD A. BEHAN

Los Angeles

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