Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

RE: 'There is always the farmer's theory' [Letter, Village News, 1/14/2010]

I would like to express my disappointment at the contributor who shared her fantasy of shooting “gangster” students and leaving their bodies by the structures they have tagged. Sharing that she imagines such vigilante justice offers her satisfaction is better suited for the confessional.

Although I, too, can be angered by the illegal activity of some youth, I would like to share an anecdote from my teaching experience that may help some people understand my lesser rage.

I have a student who is from the more crime-plagued, southeast corner of San Diego County. He is not “illiterate.” He is trying to get a fresh start, and, in fact, brought a perspective to “Romeo and Juliet” that I had never considered before. We were discussing Act III, Scene 1, in which Romeo stabs Tybalt to avenge Mercutio’s death, and Romeo’s friend (Benvolio) reports to Prince Escalus on the “civil brawl.” The usual response is to consider Romeo’s action and its consequences. This student, however, said, “That’s messed up -- Benvolio should not have ratted on Romeo!” My student’s reaction to Benvolio’s breach of loyalty to Romeo, as his (perhaps protective) “gang leader,” reminded me that not one of us can truly understand another’s circumstances and the matters of his or her heart at the time that person makes a wrong choice.

I am not applauding criminal activity. However, I hope I will never get satisfaction at the thought of bodies left to rot, youthful property-defilers or otherwise.

Julia Bell


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