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Drugging school children not the answer

Thank you for the article "A state urges less use of drugs" (Nov. 19). The Colorado State Board of Education only made one mistake - the resolution is not strong enough in its condemnation of drugging school children.

The facts show a precipitous rise in school violence and a corresponding drop in literacy that is directly proportional to the increase of funding for psychiatric programs in schools. A few psychiatrists and drug companies, such as Eli Lily, are trying to claim the violence is a symptom of mental illness, not of the drug.

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If the violence is the result of the "mental problem" and not the drugs, then why did the rise in school violence only begin when federal and state funding for psych drugs shot up to astronomical levels?

Ed Clark Clearwater, Fla.

Protests deserved more coverage

I was disappointed in the Monitor giving but a news brief to the demonstration at Ft. Benning, Georgia, calling for the closing of the School of the Americas (Nov. 23).

I would qualify characterizing the 65 people detained as "the most disruptive." This implies others were "somewhat disruptive." As an eyewitness, I can attest to the fact that 10,000 people took the pledge to nonviolence, 4,000 of whom crossed the line, and the mock funeral procession for victims of SOA graduates was conducted in a somber, silent, totally nonviolent manner.

The intent was to draw attention to this shameful use of our tax dollars in supporting an institution that has left a legacy of tears throughout Latin America.

Miriam Ward Burlington, Vt.

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Death penalty concerns

The editorial "Death penalty vigil" rightly challenges some death penalty standards (Nov. 17). You are rightly concerned about the unequal fashion in which the death penalty is applied. White murderers are twice as likely to be executed as are black murderers and are executed 17 months more quickly.

While you question the deterrent effect of capital punishment, may I suggest that all punishments deter some and that it would be quite perplexing to find that the most severe sanction deterred none. And, in fact, we know that executions do deter some.

You claim that "state-sanctioned killing is at odds with the need to reduce the level of violence in society."

Only the execution of murderers ends the possibility of future harm by that individual. At least 9 percent of those on death row had murdered prior to that murder which put them on death row.

If you are serious about reducing violence in society, possibly you could ask for revisions within our parole and probation policies, nationwide. In one year alone, in the US, those so released committed at least 218,000 violent crimes, including 13,200 murders and 12,900 rapes.

Dudley Sharp Vice president, Justice for All Houston

Paying moms to stay home

Thank you for the article "When moms get paid to raise kids from home" (Nov. 12).

It makes much more sense to pay a mother to take care of her child at home than to pay her more for leaving the child at day care. However, the common good would be served most of all if we would reach the pinnacle of common sense and responsibility: Couples should strive to have only the number of children they desire and do so only if they can afford to have the mother or father be with the children through their crucial first years.

Treska Lindsey Flat Rock, N.C.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. We can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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