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In Defense of Skateboarding Son

(This letter was also sent to city council members)

Dear Editor,

I was very sad to read the letter from Farley Brown that was printed and distributed in your paper last week.

As the mother of the teen targeted in Mr. Brown’s letter, I sincerely apologize to Mr. Brown and to anyone who may have experienced discomfort because of my son’s skating.   Safety has always been my greatest priority, and I understand and respect Mr. Brown’s level of concern.  I’m grateful to him, and to everyone in the community, who advocates for the safety of all our residents, and I look forward to a fair and balanced city policy that addresses the current skateboarding controversy.

I question the manner in which Mr. Brown advances his personal vision of safety, however.   His  letter,  with untruths and ugly insinuations, not only misrepresents my son and his family, it also violates a minor’s privacy by including our street address and providing a link to his name and image.   Publicly attacking and defaming the character of a minor will do little to promote Mr. Brown’s political views, but it does inflict great personal and emotional pain to a teenager and his family.

I also question the role of police officers who, as reported in Mr. Brown’s letter, publicly discuss a minor’s confidential history.  Unfamiliar with all the hearsay allegations printed in Mr. Brown’s  letter, I asked at the police station for copies of the complaints and tickets regarding my son, and was told to “Get a subpoena.”  It’s notable the police freely disclosed my minor son’s confidential information to a stranger, but refused me, his mother, substantiating documentation.  I have formally and respectfully requested the police please respect my minor son’s privacy, and I hope there will not be increased police vigilance directed towards my son as a result of this request.

Finally, I question the role of this newspaper for printing uncorroborated material so damaging to a minor.  Reporting the truth, to the best of your ability, is surely one of your highest ethical considerations and, hopefully you rank the protection of minors as one of your greatest civic obligations.  Whether published willfully or by mistake, the printing and distribution of Mr. Brown’s malicious letter that specifically targets my son, and provides our address and instant access to his name and image is an act that has devastating and long-term consequences.

Name Withheld

Laguna Beach

 

The Independent apologizes to the above Laguna resident for the oversight of printing their address. The Independent clearly states that all letters are the opinion of the letter writer, and in no way reflect the views of the Independent. As such, letters are not fact checked.  Ed.

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