Turning Around At-Risk Youths

In the front-page article "Growing Violence by Youths Leads to a National Debate Over School-Safety Measures," Jan. 29, the author discusses several new programs to reduce violence in schools. One such program is that of the Los Angeles County coroner's office bringing at-risk youths in to witness the autopsies of slain gang members. The thinking behind this is completely irrational. Do people really believe that they can curb violence by exposing youths to more violence? Evidence shows that exposure to violence breeds aggressive behavior. In view of this fact, it is our stupidity to think that bombarding teenagers with more scenes of graphic violence will help reduce violence in our schools.

Perhaps if programs could be designed to teach youths healthy ways to respond to the situations they face instead of making morbid scenes an even more common experience in their lives, some school violence could be avoided. Marianne Partridge, Rexburg, Ind.

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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