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Striking 'Chord of Outrage' Over Story

April 05, 1992

I'm responding to your front-page article, "O.C. Day-Care Home Closed by Sex Abuse Claim" (March 25), reporting the closure of a Cypress home day-care facility by state officials because of alleged sexual misconduct and child abuse.

Having worked as a child-care professional for 10 years, it becomes extremely disheartening to hear reports of suspected child abuse. Most disrupting is the thought of helpless children being victimized. This issue seems to strike a chord of outrage in all decent people.

However, being involved with children for most of my adult life, I've also encountered instances where colleagues have been victimized by premature reports of unfounded allegations. Since the McMartin debacle, these instances have become an occupational hazard for those of us within the profession.

Of greatest concern to me is the high profile approach The Times pursued in reporting the allegations against Ms. (Terri) Borzoni and Ms. (Vicki) Jimenez by giving the report front-page status. It is apparent that your publication seeks to capitalize on the sensational nature of the allegations by appealing to our "chord of outrage" previously mentioned here.

I must also respond to your follow-up article ("Parents Angry About Day-Care Home's Closure," March 26). Although it was more favorable to Ms. Borzoni and Ms. Jimenez, it was not as prominently displayed as the original article. I find this troubling, to say the least, as questionable media reporting can be more devastating than the allegations themselves.

For the sake of the child or children involved in these allegations, I pray that they are not fact. For the sake of Ms. Borzoni, Ms. Jimenez, their livelihoods and reputations, I can only hope that the media, and specifically The Times, will afford them the same front-page attention if and when these charges have been unsubstantiated.

MIKE PEREZ, Anaheim

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