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Letters to the Editors

Don't shield 'children' from reality

© St. Petersburg Times
published June 2, 2002

Re: "Mother recoils at summer reading list," May 31:
-- I am a rising senior at Tampa Preparatory School and plan to graduate in 2003. I have a sister who also attends Tampa Prep as a rising eighth-grader.
With this information, you should know that we should both plan on reading Girl With a Pearl Earring.
Are you aware of what middle schoolers talk about when there are no teachers or parents or authoritative figures present? You obviously don't. And I would know this because my sister is in middle school and she has middle school friends.
"Children" are no longer children. They are growing up and learning more than you would have ever known when you were their ages. I am just telling you this to give you a wake-up call and to tell you that "children" know a lot more than you may think.
I am not one of those older siblings to my sister that tells her "stuff" and shows things that she should not see yet. I protect my sister from what I can, but she is far too advanced to heed to my protection.
I am proud to say that I go to Tampa Prep because my teachers teach me. They don't censor, because the real world is not censored. It is a college prep school and that is exactly what Peter Shepley and Gordon Macleod plan to do.

Lauren White

-- Lutz

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