Reluctant Informants

Re: "Schools Weigh Rewards for Student Informants," Feb. 9.

In many instances there are those among us who know or have knowledge of the identity of the wrong-doer, but are reluctant to provide the information to authorities. We must encourage young and old, family, friend, neighbor or community person to actively and aggressively take part in discouraging misconduct and making consequences an inevitable reality.

We now offer rewards to encourage this involvement as an incentive to overcome complacency, peer pressure or fear of reprisal. However, we fail to recognize a major factor in such reluctance: social condemnation. These individuals have been dubbed as finks, snitches and whistle-blowers.

The connotation attached to the informant, silent witness, anonymous source, good citizen, is negative regardless of motivation. Our current social attitude benefits not you and me but those who choose to violate the law and prey on us.


Thousand Oaks

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World