DEAR ABBY: This is in response to the letter from "Shocked on the USS O'Brien," the sailor in the Persian Gulf who criticized the spelling in a letter he had received from a high school student. He quoted the following: "I now you are doon your best to pertek our nation fum them and I want you to no we are prowd of you." Then "Shocked" went on to say, "God help America if our kids are graduated from high school spelling and writing the way they do!"Abby, I, for one, don't appreciate the generalization. I assure you that America will not fall apart when our generation comes of age.
On behalf of all the educated high school students of America, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all the brave men and women now serving in the Persian Gulf and many other places around the world, prepared to give their lives if necessary in the service of our country. Sign me . . . EDUCATED IN INDIANA
DEAR EDUCATED: Thank you for writing. I know that you speak for many teenagers. Read on for another reaction to the letter from "Shocked" - one I had not considered:
DEAR ABBY: This is in response to the letter signed "Shocked on the USS O'Brien":
Perhaps it never occurred to "Shocked" that this young high school student who made so many mistakes in his letter may have had a learning disability.
As a parent of a child with a learning disability, it was very easy for me to understand what the writer was trying to say. Perhaps one should not be so quick to criticize how a person expresses himself, but be thankful instead that the child took the time, effort and courage to write to a service member in the Persian Gulf. - T.G. IN ALTOONA, PA.
DEAR ABBY: Recently you published a letter from a serviceman in the Persian Gulf bemoaning that high school students writing to him lacked writing skills. I am a high school teacher, and I was not surprised at his comments. Let me tell you why Johnny can't write:
Johnny is in a class of 45 average students. I see Johnny only 50 minutes each day, during which time I must take roll, deal with discipline problems, correct papers, try to quiet disturbances in the hall, fill out forms and try to teach. Johnny, like most average students, hates school, so he is hard to teach. I will try to get him to learn anyway, but he never has a pen, paper or textbook with him. If he does manage to borrow supplies from another student, I must stand over him and try to get him going. Then, I must move on to the other 44 students.
Too soon, the bell will ring, and Johnny will have written nothing on his paper.
Well, tomorrow's another day, and I'll try again to get Johnny to write. Somebody's got to do this job. - A DISILLUSIONED TEACHER IN CHATSWORTH, CALIF.
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