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Expelling the students caught up in the college admissions scandal would be cruel and unnecessary

Expelling the students caught up in the college admissions scandal would be cruel and unnecessary
Visiting students are lead on a tour of the UCLA campus on March 13, the day after news of a college bribery scandal broke. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Let’s not be so hard on the kids. (“UC should expel students and revoke degrees after admissions scandal, lawmaker says,” March 19)

It is disgusting the way these parents plowed a way in for their kids. The law will see that the parents get what they have coming. However, aren’t the kids in this scandal victims to some extent? Regardless of whether they knew or not, these kids could not appreciate the possible consequences of their parents’ actions.

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And the consequences are devastating: They face the sudden loss of anonymity and with it their fragile sense of identity, a sense of betrayal by their parents, the collapse of their standing at school and scrutiny by the media, not to mention the contempt of their peers.

These kids will feel the consequences lifelong, because their belief in their own ability to cut a path for themselves was never fully cultivated in the first place. In the meantime, family relationships will experience strain. These kids will lose friends, perhaps painfully, and in the future they may have difficulty trusting new people in their lives.

These kids, though perhaps complicit, are going to suffer the brunt of their parents’ actions for a long time. For these reasons and others, we should go easier on them. They will always be the children of their parents.

Patricia Bergesch, Cardiff, Calif.

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To the editor: Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) suggests expelling University of California students whose parents are involved in the college admissions scandal and taking away the degrees of those who have graduated.

I know it’s in vogue these days to punish children for the acts of their parents, as is occurring in the disgraceful handling of immigrant families at the border, but why repeat that fiasco?

Whether the students got into the UC system fairly or not, if they stayed in it, they most likely did that on their own merit. If there’s evidence that the students themselves committed fraud once at a UC campus, fine, let that university take the appropriate action under existing guidelines.

The real problem is the admission process. Focusing on that is much more effective than punishing students who are already likely feeling guilty for their parents’ acts.

Jeff Pollak, La Crescenta

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To the editor: Eventually the furor and righteous indignation over the college admissions scandal will fade away, and not a moment too soon. Of course, what those parents did, aided and abetted by Rick Singer and his — get this — nonprofit charity, was deplorable.

But once these people are swept into oblivion, what will remain is an inherently unfair system that is legal and in most people’s minds entirely acceptable.

I’m not even talking about donating zillions so your precious progeny can gain admission. I’m talking about something far more widespread and insidious: the power of the ZIP code.

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Where you were born and live has all sorts of consequences for your life. Obviously, losers and winners are born in every ZIP code, but it is indisputable that the odds favor a child born in certain areas over those born in others.

This is the scandal we should be up in arms about.

Claude Goldenberg, Seal Beach

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To the editor: Forget the admissions scandal. The real story is how some of the wealthy families caught up in this scandal were able to deduct their “donations” to the fake charity from their taxes.

Oh, but the Internal Revenue Service is too underfunded and understaffed to go after the big fish.

Herb Adelman, Del Mar

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