Instilling Values in America’s Children

It is beyond me why in the first article of your series, “Liberty vs. Morality: America’s Search for Common Values” (May 26-28), you chose Charles Dewane, a 27-year-old unmarried father in Detroit, as an example of someone who is concerned about family values and says he “is trying to go the right way.”

I suggest he marry the unwed mother of his child and become a family instead of taking an “active role” in his child’s care. His son needs two full-time parents, especially a father.

Dewane should also go back to the church he has not attended in years, instead of sending his child to Catholic school. Parents who send their children to Catholic schools are partners with the school in raising their children. No religious school can instill values in a child unless the child’s parents set an example and live the values.



Trabuco Canyon

* I find that despite the movements that attempted to shake the social norms of this country since the ‘50s, the discussion on the place of men and women in society is amazingly well entrenched in old-fashioned rhetoric. The unquestioning use of that rhetoric made it into the first two articles on America’s search for values. The first tells of a couple in Colorado who decided that the wife should stop working to stay home with the children. That despite the fact that her income outstripped her husband’s. Why was it that the husband did not stay at home, I wondered?

The explanation came in the next day’s article about divorce. It told about a woman who, before her unfortunate divorce, had the rare opportunity to stay at home, putter in the sandbox and watch “Barney” with the children while the husband worked. Now I knew why the man in Colorado decided to keep on working--home life was no life for an intelligent person, but it was a good life for a woman.

These articles are an insult to me as a working professional woman with a working professional for a husband, and a small daughter. But more importantly, your articles address few of the concerns I and my colleagues have. We try to be of value to society, while dealing with expensive child care, a shaky educational system, long work-hour expectations and a popular culture that beats us senseless over the head, regardless of our gender.



Los Angeles

* I read with great interest the article about the burgeoning movement to teach morals to children, on May 28. But it states that character education had no visible proponents before 1993. I beg to differ. The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts have been teaching morality, citizenship and responsibility to the youth of America for more than 80 years. Their memberships number in the millions for this year and cumulative membership numbers must be considerable.

Volunteers have been teaching our youth the morals that now the public is crying out for educators to do.


Well, there’s a chance to put your money on the table, back up those claims, and volunteer with a youth group that fulfills the goals of teaching children the difference between right and wrong.



* Could it be that our predecessors had it right when they posted the Ten Commandments and the Consitution in our public classrooms, offices and institutions? Perhaps we need to reconsider the case for absolute truth and to whom we are ultimately responsible!



Huntington Beach