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Offering kids a 'way out' of crime and grime

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh meets at 8 every morning with more 30 department heads to talk about fighting crime in the city.  (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)

It seems to me that the overriding issues in Baltimore are three-fold — crime, grime and education.

Crime in the city is certainly out of control, generated predominately by the drug trade and uncontrolled juveniles (“How not to solve Baltimore’s problem of juvenile crime,” Nov. 9). Regarding the juveniles, they understand that nothing serious will happen to them if caught. If they were adults, they would be charged with the appropriate crimes, but they are not. This has to change and soon.

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Grime — alleys and abandoned buildings — are a blight on the city. And they have no "curb appeal" for suburbanites. In fact, many refuse to come to the city. This has to change as well.

Finally, there’s education, which I believe is the key. The concept of "social promotion" has been shown to be unsuccessful. The math and verbal skills of "graduating" students are almost non-existent. Teachers are not given the proper authority in the classroom for fear of retribution by school authorities or parents. Students who don't attend or refuse to follow instructions should be dismissed. Will this cause us as a society to lose a number of youths? Yes. But what about the students who are there to learn? Aren't we doing them a disservice?

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As it stands, young people in Baltimore have the choice of living under entitlements or turning to the drug trade. Neither of those choices provides these young people a "way out,: Baltimore is currently a mess and everyone knows it. Our city "leaders" need to do more and not be concerned so much with the political correctness of their action or the political ramifications.That's why they are there, isn't it?

B. Arthur Neil, Baltimore

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