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Helping Families

In response to “Girl’s 911 Call Led to a New Life of Turmoil,” Metro, March 5:

There is something basically wrong and quite frightening with a system under which youngsters are programmed to turn to police instead of their own families or other available agencies for help (even if the cause of their problems are with members of their own family). The government’s role should be to do everything possible to help keep a family together.

The officer’s instruction to young Terah Beth Cortez to ". . . Go back home and act like nothing happened . . .” indicates that the priority is in making a drug bust rather than helping a family in trouble. Why weren’t social agencies, church organizations, or community help groups put into play in an attempt to save a family? Yes, the police got their bust but Terah, too, was sentenced to live a life in a series of foster homes and perhaps a juvenile institution.

Terah’s statement about her current situation (". . . It didn’t get as bad as it is now”) only underscores the failure of a system that emphasizes police action as opposed to social understanding.

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The family unit has always been the very foundation of the American moral structure. Undermining it by police infiltration of schools and turning young children into snitches on their parents is an insidious and counterproductive practice (we have Nazi Germany to serve as a historical example).

WM. C. YOUNG

Beverly Hills


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