Racial violence in school

Regarding the article "Racial Riot Shows Buried Tensions At a High School," Dec. 21: The saddest part of the Medford, Mass., racial violence is that the same old nostrums are dragged out. "Society" made the kids do it; the community meetings will assure parents that their kids are safe; and "it won't happen again."

Living together and cultural understanding have not worked too well in India, Liberia, Northern Ireland, the former Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, so why should it work any better in Medford?

If the students don't fight over race, they will fight over religion, social class, or allegiance to a school or an athletic team. It's the kind of adolescent competition that is encouraged and fostered in the name of school "spirit," which some of us never outgrow. We will be helpless until we accept that our freedom to wave our arms stops at our neighbor's nose - a novel idea in our present violent society in which the mildest insult excuses the cruelest response. Charles M. Breinin, Tonawanda, N.Y.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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