A failing Baltimore City Public School system, and lack of both after school programs and recreation centers will continue to increase gang recruitment unless the city acts now. It's not a coincidence that Quintin Poindexter was led behind Windsor Hill Elementary School and killed ("Family watched, helpless, as gang took their son," Aug. 6).

The Baltimore City Schools are becoming gang recruiting institutions and their playgrounds are becoming the killing fields. The city has closed down most recreation centers, and many after school programs are non-existent. Young men, and even young women, are now left to fend for themselves. With the loss of these recreation centers and after school programs our young people are looking to the streets and gang members for acceptance.

As a result, young men like Quintin are being recruited right in our buildings for learning. His mother said it best when she said, "His first year in middle school, it was like one person went in, and another came out." If the city continues to ignore the necessity of these programs, the gangs will be our children's future, and education will be something in their past. We must teach our children to stop using people and loving things, and start loving people and using things.

John Jones, Baltimore