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[Susan notes: Dr. Robert Kay asks you to imagine what would happen if the government were to pass a one-hour-per-week compulsory attendance law for grownups.

Just one hour.]

Submitted to Philadelphia Inquirer but not published

To the editor

To the Editor:

If you think we have a problem with "Unruly

Students Facing Arrest, Not Detention" (News,

Jan. 4) you just wait and see what would happen

were the government to pass a one-hour-per-

week compulsory attendance law for grownups

-- including the idea that we'd have to study

some boring, irrelevant and/or forgettable

subject matter mandated from on high and

then have our future careers in large part

dependent on passing the course.

That is, when I've suggested such a law to

friends -- and teachers -- the almost universal

response is to threaten to call an attorney, appeal to the ACLU, or phone 911; i.e. with the best of intentions we're doing to our kids what they wouldn't DARE do to us -- and their widespread ignorance, combined with their pathetic basic-skill levels, would seem to prove it.

Robert E. Kay, MD, Adult and Child Psychiatrist

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