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Readers' forum: Legal versus right

Published: Wednesday, April 13 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

Nowadays, I'm noticing that what's legal is not necessarily what's right. The Koran burning by Pastor Terry Jones is legal as is the newest Broadway show of the ultra vulgar "The Book of Mormon." But what's right about trashing social tranquility?

Self-regulation existed before authoritarian rule. Most worrisome is that separating these values doesn't protect children. In New York, a sixth-grader is charged with a hate crime for trying to take a head scarf off a Muslim classmate during recess. This is criminalizing child behavior rather than correcting self-behavior.

An Alta High School student is facing a similar charge for donning a pillow case during a pep rally that resembled a Wisconsin union protest. These riotous events were legal but divisive. So were they the right thing to do? Meanwhile, teachers are enveloping themselves in shaving cream, sitting on school rooftops and eating worms to reward student reading achievements.

All is legal, but is it right? As adults we should remember that we have fully formed brains; kids do not. So with a mandate to help our children achieve responsible and peaceful maturity, where do we fit on a scale that measures being legal versus doing what's right?

Carolyn Palmer

Stansbury Park

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