Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Please Note: The `Pen' No Place for Pen Pal Dear Ann Landers:

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Please Note: The `Pen' No Place for Pen Pal Dear Ann Landers:

Article excerpt

Dear Ann Landers: I had to write when I read the letter from the mother who is encouraging her teen-age daughters to visit that "poor" teen-age boy in prison. The mother has obviously fallen for the typical "not my fault" line that every convict pulls to get sympathy. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the 15-year-old daughter has already developed a major crush on the "nice young fellow who got drunk and killed a man." That, of course, is the line he is feeding her.

Do I know what I'm talking about? You bet I do. I've been teaching junior high school for 23 years, and most of my kids have graduated and become worthwhile contributors to society. I do, however, have a few former students in prison, and I don't visit them.

One boy was only 14 when he shot a 9-year-old girl while she was watching TV in her home. Why? Because her brother wouldn't join his gang. Now, he is 21 and is being released. His younger brother sees how much attention the older one is getting, not to mention how bamboozled the mother is. She insists her son was framed, even though his fingerprints were on the sawed-off shotgun. The mother is sure her son will be a wonderful person now that he is out of jail. I hope she is right, but I wouldn't bet on it. His gang is still around, and they look up to him now because he has "done time." The mother who wrote to you is out of her mind. She is encouraging her teen-age daughters to make friends with a convicted killer. The father is equally stupid. He is using prison visits as an incentive to get the girls' grades up. They all need family counseling. TEXAS TEACHER Thank you for your hard-boiled, down-to-earth comments. You are right on, and I applaud your candor. I hope the parents take your comments seriously and put an end to those jail visits. Read on: ***** Dear Ann Landers: I've been a nurse in a maximum security men's prison for 11 years, and I about dropped my teeth when I read the letter from "Unsure West Coasters. …

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