12:00 PM EDT, July 10, 2013
Dan Rodricks is right on with his article about doing better for at-risk kids than foster care ("Getting to Baltimore's at-risk kids," June 30).
However, the only surefire remedy for abused and neglected kids is to prevent their being born to 11-13- and 15-year-old mothers.
Children cannot thrive in households where they are raised by generations of children bearing children with no fathers around. The statistics about the risks children born to children inevitably face are mind-boggling. Precious few will manage to live a life not at-risk.
We must take such babies from age 2 into subsidized 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. schools — cheaper than hospitals or juvenile detention — where their still-developing brains will receive love, learning, meals, naps and safe haven until bedtime.
But first we simply must provide free, safe, universal birth control to girls as young as 9 and require it before they enter fourth grade — just as measles, mumps and other vaccines are required. And we must develop safe methods of preventing boys from impregnating these youngsters and then taking off to continue sowing life-destroying pregnancies until they're mature and self-supporting enough to be fathers.
It can be done, and it must be done.
Judy Chernak, Pikesville
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