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'Better Characters' Should Grow Up, Too

October 18, 1992

As a former public educator, I applaud Garry Abram's article describing the "Building Better Characters" movement in education, but I believe the picture showing a student writing "I will not talk or leave my seat" will give readers the wrong message about the values currently being addressed by educators.

Children are literal, and certainly this one knows he can and will get out of his seat and he will talk whenever he can get away with it.

By writing the incorrect message, he is learning that authority figures manipulate and distort.

Those educators instilling those values listed by the Irvine Unified School District will teach a more realistic message such as "I can remember that talking and moving may disturb the teacher and other students."

As responsible adults, educators and parents should try to be honest and compassionate. They teach values with examples, not with words.

PATRICIA MILLIGAN

Santa Ana

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