Educating Brazil's children

Regarding the article "Human Rights Groups Denounce Brazil Roundup of Street Children," March 18: There is no doubt that Brazilian children should be allowed basic individual rights of freedom. They do not, however, have the right to commit violent crimes against others.

It is just as obvious that lowering the age of adulthood to 16, in order to make prosecuting teenagers easier, is not the answer.

The issue is larger than that of mere teenage street crime. It is a reflection of Brazilian problems with the poor and uneducated.

There must be more emphasis on programs geared to educate young people and also on penalties for the adults who exploit them. While violent crime cannot go unpunished, reformative measures cannot be ignored. LaShawn Howell, Loretto, Tenn.

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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