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Beline Obeid

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Teach our children

To the Editor:

This letter is sent as a response to a letter "Protect our children," (Jan. 16, Grosse Pointe News). I trust your fine paper will see fit to print an opposing viewpoint in the name of editorial fairness.

Just who will teach our children? How early is too early? Do our children deserve to be left to empirical discovery for their protection or is it the informed child who will prevail in today's society?

We collectively agree that our children should start to be taught about their sexuality in the third, fourth and fifth grades yet this country has no shortage of teenage unwed mothers and unwanted pregnancies.

Where did we go wrong? We start to teach them that you will start to have feelings for another child in your peer group. What do you do with these feelings? Well, here are the mechanics of the situation, these are the consequences, and just say no! When has this ever worked?

Protecting our children is a tremendous challenge in today's hectic fast-paced society. How to cross the street, how to ride a bike, how to buckle up, how to conduct yourself in any/all situations. When it comes to firearms, who is going to teach your child?

Personally I don't understand the attitude of some parents who would rather stick their heads in the sand and pretend things will be just fine for little Sally or Johnny. Educated people (children included) make informed, intelligent decisions.

Forget to teach your child to brush their teeth, more than likely they will not have any by the time they're 12 or 13. Teach them how to handle and conduct themselves around firearms, and the chances of them becoming a part of the national statistics pool are greatly reduced.

Education is the greatest protection against all that threatens the future leaders and teachers of our great society.

I would agree with the letter writer, any parent/guardian who would simply give a powerful firearm to a child is a threat to our well-being and safety (did I mention a complete idiot). But giving a child a powerful firearm along with the supervision, guidance and teaching required to instill the responsibility, personal accountability and maturity necessary to safely handle and use this powerful firearm is of the highest example of involved and dedicated parenting.

A far easier and unfortunately more common parenting style is to shield the child from such pithy issues, and instead of confronting the awesome responsibility of developing a child's character, spend one's time blaming somebody else.

Correct training, teaching respect for, and proper firearm handling rules ensure safety and informed decisions with the youth we so enthusiastically strive to protect. The National Rifle Association and local police agencies, along with many other sources, have excellent programs for adults and youth to learn safe and proper firearms training.

Who will teach our children? I would hope all the people who touch their lives would.

Michael Tomaszewski

Teacher of Children

Around the Pointes

Michael Tomaszewski
February 13, 2003

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