Re "Hizzoner the mentor," editorial, March 3
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa "at his worst" is how your editorial describes the mayor's offer to mentor a high school student accused of writing graffiti on a bus. To the contrary, this is Villaraigosa at his best. True, he can't personally mentor every delinquent, but neither can any one individual. This could be the kid's luckiest break, and what a great way for the mayor to stay connected to the challenges of our youth in South L.A. Let's be a little less cynical. As a troublemaker-turned-mayor, Villaraigosa could be a guide to us all. If the mayor can find time for one troubled teenager, can't we all?
Re "Mayor to the schools: Can't this be easier?" March 2
So Villaraigosa believes that when a stranger offers to mentor a student, it's too much to ask to have that person fill out a one-page application, get a tuberculosis test and be fingerprinted? How does the man who thinks he should be in charge of the school system think we should streamline the process? Make the application half a page? Just name and phone number? And I guess because we've already taken the prospective mentor's name, there's no reason to waste time with fingerprinting.
Re "L.A.'s mayor offers to mentor tagging suspect," March 1
I was surprised by Santee Principal Vince Carbino's defensive response to Villaraigosa's offer to mentor the alleged bus tagger. As a lawyer representing abused children, I work with kids who are in desperate need of qualified tutors and mentors. I'm happy to hear that the Santee Education Complex has a team of 12 counseling professionals ready to guide the student, but if the school won't accept the mayor's offer, I know of several young people who would jump at the chance to benefit from the mayor's guidance.