Letters to the editor (May – June 2004)
These are readers’ letters we received in response to material in the March – April 2004 issue of L.A. Youth.
My horrible fight
This article made me think about the first fight I had ever been in. I was 7 and playing on the playground when another kid jumped off the swings and landed on my shoulders. He broke my collarbone. It took me about a month to heal, and I had plenty of time to think about what I was going to do to the kid named Alex.
Every day I looked for him just so I could fight him. I was young, stupid and ready to fight. Then one day I saw him and he saw me. Without even a word I ran toward him and swung. He didn’t even know what happened. He fell to the ground and I jumped on him and started punching him as hard as I could. The adrenaline and hate just made me keep going until his mother pulled me off.
I guess I’m different than the boy in the story. I would have fought back instead of letting him get away with hitting me. I was only 7 when I got into my first fight but I had the hatred of an adult. Since that fight I have never fought again. I don’t like fighting and I don’t like bullies, but if I was to get hit, I would hit back.
—Roman Ilyitsky, Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies (S.O.C.E.S.)
I think the writer of this article is very brave and determined. Bravery does not come in the form of that Joseph kid picking on you, but in your refusal to fight. Whether it was your religion or your upbringing that served as motivation not to fight, I think it was noble for you to hold your ground and not fight back.
I would think it necessary, if the incident went any further, to defend yourself and either dodge the attacks or try to restrain Joseph and call for help. I don’t think running would be a worthy solution, since defending yourself was never a crime.
I believe you did the absolute right thing. You protected yourself but not to an aggressive extent. And you didn’t run like a coward. I don’t think you should have accepted your suspension, however. After all, you never really fought.
—Kevin Washington, S.O.C.E.S.
From good girl to wild one
I think this article is an excellent example of the dangers in our world today. Everyone is influenced by peer pressure, constantly wanting to be like others. It is important to be the person you want to be, and yet never forget where you come from.
Becoming an outsider to the world is not the answer to being different. As a result of these experiences, the person often ends up regretting what he or she did. Karina, be happy with who you are, but don’t forget that your parents will always love ya.
—Jennifer Rodriguez, S.O.C.E.S.
Unplugging my computer
I read this article and I felt great sympathy. I use my computer every day, doing homework all the time. I tried to give up my computer for Lent last year and I couldn’t stand it for two days. So I gave up chocolate.
—Dennis Mabasa, S.O.C.E.S.
This was a wonderful story. Great job not using your computer for a month. I would never be able to last that long. I could barely go without using it for a day. You must have had strong support by people to last so long.
The Internet has become something I use daily. I mostly use it to read movie reviews like you, but at RogerEbert.com. I am known by my friends to be addicted to Command & Conquer: Generals. I have had to live without the Internet for a week; it was the longest week of my life.
Did you like not having your computer? I didn’t find out the answer to your main idea in your article. I still think it was a great article, though, and I enjoyed reading it.
—Aaron Dorfman, S.O.C.E.S.
My new nose
I think that teens should have plastic surgery for medical reasons. My mom had this same surgery on her nose because she had a hard time breathing. It changed her life; she can breathe better, which helps her sleep better and she can also smell. If something medical happens to you, you should have plastic surgery to fix it. The way you look affects your confidence. If your self-confidence is low due to the way you look as a teen, I think you should be able to get plastic surgery to change it. If it builds your self-confidence—then go for it!
—Melissa Gottlieb, S.O.C.E.S.
Ditching class is a problem in schools today. I read about the new gate at Manual Arts High and initially I thought it was a horrible idea. After finishing the article and thinking it over… it still is. I can see why administrators are upset with kids cutting class. But putting up an extremely depressing-looking fence doesn’t make the problem better; it makes it worse. Skipping class will always be around, because the risk is fun. Putting ugly walls up around campus won’t change anything.
—Dylan Wexler, S.O.C.E.S.