While accountability and punitive measures are needed to curb violence among young people, self-control is equally important (“Baltimore pastor: Let’s take back our children and our city,” Jan. 31). If it is not taught in the home, it must be taught in our child care, educational, and corrective institutions as well as to prospective foster and adoptive parents. Turning away from a perceived offense helps to build character.
Police officials have repeatedly stated that youth often harm others to settle minor grudges and grievances, to get revenge, to show superiority in a controversial or competitive matter. Violence is used to “pay back” others for insults, name-calling, and other minor issues. This must stop.
While strong feelings of anger, hurt and betrayal can be normal, they must be handled in nonviolent ways. Self-control is a godly virtue, but learning it must be undertaken in places in addition to the church.
Let’s add it to our basic skills. It could save many lives and much heart ache.
— Margaret D. Pagan, Baltimore
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