SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


A Bit Harsh
By Kathleen Svenson


June 02, 2008

Dear Editor,

Eileen Small's harsh criticism of a Ketchikan student who went on the Kanayama Student Exchange to Japan a few years ago was way out of line. The student simply became separated from the student's father-chaperone and the group of students in a Japanese city because the child walked out the wrong door of a shop. According to the child's father, the child was only "lost" for about a half-hour. According to the Kanayama Board it was five hours. Some people say the student was located by cell phone GPS; others say our cell phones don't work there. Who knows? This story has passed into legend as far as I'm concerned, and to dredge it up now seems peculiar at best.

Worse, though, is Small's saying, "If you cannot manage to follow rules for 3 weeks in order to be PRIVILEGED to do something awesome that 99% of one's classmates will NOT be allowed to do, then you really have NO future in life anyway -- so why waste the cost of a trip to Japan in the first place?"

This sure is a real anti-asset building statement. A kid makes the same mistake a lot of us have made in Disneyworld, and for this the child should be condemned for the rest of his/her life since the child has NO future anyway?

These remarks coming from a health professional who works with teens is particularly disturbing. Everybody makes mistakes; it's part of the human condition. Unfortunately, that's how we learn.

Kathleen Svenson
Mother of Teens
Ketchikan, AK

Received May 31, 2008 - Published June 02, 2008


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