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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

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.


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

Laura Polan

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