SOCORRO, New Mexico (STPNS) -- Last week?s Mountain Mail had a front-page story that consisted of several stories and/or ?lessons,? depending on a person?s sense of values, wrapped into one. The article dealt with Magdalena librarian Lucy Pino eliminating a trouble-making child from the library.

I do not intend to re-hash the pros and cons of this situation here. They were well covered in last week?s Mountain Mail. Let?s discuss the various lessons that were between the lines, or maybe went unsaid altogether.

All of these were tragic to one degree or another, and all told a lot about everyone involved. Probably a lot more than they realized.



When I was a child, children were expected to be seen and not heard. They were to speak when spoken to. They were to obey the rules. More importantly, they were to obey their elders ? and absolutely no ?back sass.?

I?ll never forget my first day in school; my father told the teacher, ?If he gives you any trouble, bend him over your knee and use your belt on him, and when he gets home, I?ll do the same.?

Needless to say, no teacher or my father ever needed to use a belt on me while I was in school.

Going to school, in this case the library, is a privilege that a child should be allowed to keep only if they follow the rules and obey the instruction of the adults in charge.

A 12-year-old child cannot be allowed to arrogantly ignore the rules or challenge the authority of those in charge ? to do so would breed a population that condones felonious actions by individuals whenever something does not go their way.

The little girl?s parents, whose egos were being hurt by very correct actions of Lucy Pino and Mayor Wolfe, compounded the problem by trying to excuse their child?s bullying actions with legal action. This was tragic.

Rather than using this as a teaching opportunity in rearing this little girl, the parents? actions taught her she doesn?t have to follow the rules ? that she needs only to follow those that she wants to, and ? that when something doesn?t go her way, she can get Mommy and Daddy to help her force her way on the public.

Our prisons are full of men and women whose parents taught them they were smarter than teachers (and librarians), and it was OK to follow only the laws they wanted to.

Finally, their attorney missed a great opportunity to teach these parents a lesson by not telling them, ?Your little girl is wrong ? go home and forget it.? Had that happened, the entire family would have learned a valuable lesson.

Everyone who believes as I do should take a minute and call Lucy Pino at 854-2361 and Jim Wolfe at 854-2261 and commend them for their actions on this matter.

To not do so, in effect, leaves them ?all alone? to shoulder the responsibility of helping this community raise all its children all the time. Don?t forget -- it takes an entire community to raise a child. This was said many years ago in an ancient African proverb ? long before Hillary Clinton?s ghost writer plagiarized and popularized it.

Thanks to all of you who have questioned my recent absence from the Mountain Mail, and expressed concern for my health. Although I am not yet 100 percent, I am a darned site better, and hope I can stay on schedule with my ?Comments.?

Copyright September ?06, by Luther Broaddus III, Magdalena, NM 87825. Luther Broaddus, publisher of Luther?s Comments, a nationally circulated column for local weekly newspapers, lives in the high mountains, southwest of Magdalena. He is solely responsible for its content. E-mail him at lbroaddus@ gilanet.com.