Alternative Schools Aren't the Solution

Regarding the News in Brief item ''California kids who bring guns to schools or pull knives,'' Oct. 18: I was raised in California and I knew schoolmates in sixth grade who were on drugs, sold them, or brought a knife to school for protection and, of course, attention.

Signing the ''zero tolerance'' rule into law was justified. Sending these kids to alternative schools is not.

Extending school hours is a form of punishment, and sending these teens to alternative schools will not benefit them but rather segregate them from their peers.

One solution would be to leave them in their regular schools but enforce attendance at counseling sessions provided by those schools.

By keeping youths in a regular setting, we would not spend nearly as much money.

A regular setting is where these kids should be. We should not make them an exception by giving them special attention apart from other students in their classes.

Suzanne Petersen Aurora, Colo.

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