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[Susan notes: This moving and angry letter is written by the English teacher of a student featured in a front page New York Times story.



http://susanohanian.org/show_atrocities.html?id=1993 ]

Published in New York Times
03/10/2004

To the editor

To the Editor:







Re "For a Promising but Poor Girl, a Struggle Over Sex and Goals" (front page, March 8):



Tabitha, the young woman featured in your article who was once a student in my freshman playwriting class, is now a student in my advanced-placement literature class in a school that has many Tabithas but not so many who are so determined to succeed.



All of my other advanced-placement students have e-mail access to me for help with assignments and sometimes with life. Not so Tabitha.



All my other advanced-placement students have required access to computers either at home or at nearby friends' houses. Not so Tabitha.



Last spring, when I was reluctant to accept her into advanced-placement literature because of her existing burdens, she begged. I admitted her. I cried when I read your article, for I knew some but not all of Tabitha's story.



We should ask why, in a country where so many have so much and feel entitled to have more, so many have so little and are often blamed for it.

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The writer is an English teacher at DeWitt Clinton High School.

Laura Polan


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