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A recent report that students and alumni from some of Baltimore's elite private schools have been involved in "racially insensitive" behavior takes a complicated issue and renders it simplistically (“Racially charged photos of Baltimore private school students in Halloween costumes create stir online,” Oct. 30).

These incidents are certainly not new, nor are they limited to the easy targets of "white, privileged private school males." These days, when the culture provides too few good role models for young men, when our leaders show little knowledge or regard for accurately speaking about history, and when being respectful and appropriate with regard to women, people of color, and almost anyone who is "different" is labeled as merely "politically correct," why do we always seem so surprised when youngsters, whether in private or public schools, demonstrate the kind of insensitivity you report?

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Why do we leave it to private schools, many of which, historically, were founded to avoid diversity, to carry the burden that needs to be taken up both by parents and by the public culture in which youngsters grow up?

It is clear that the incident radiated a thoughtless disregard for life, in this case Freddie Gray's. However, these private school products are not alone in not caring about his life. If more people had really cared he might still be with us.

Jon McGill, Baltimore

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