Readers weigh in on college admission scandal
Dear Readers: Many of you have strong opinions about the college admissions scandal, and because there were so many thoughtful replies, I am devoting a few columns to reprinting some of the feedback to my proposed solution of fining the parents to pay for scholarships:
Dear Annie: Loved your answer to “Friends in Disagreement.” But there was one point that wasn’t mentioned by you or “Friends” that I think is very important and not being taught enough. As parents, one of our biggest jobs is to teach our children that they need to work for, and earn, what they want. Give them that sense of pride, accomplishment and confidence. The message these parents sent to their kids was, “We know you can’t make it on your own, so we’ll buy it for you.” — Earn What You Get
Dear Annie: Amen, Sister! I had to write to you as this is one of the first letters that I have read of yours, and there have been hundreds, that I totally agree with. You were spot on. Those parents need to pay extremely huge fines and receive suspended sentences with probation. Also, money to the universities, as you suggested, should be devoted exclusively for those less fortunate. What a great response. — Just Another Christian
Dear Annie: You missed the mark. While I completely agree with your statement that the parents in the scandal should pay a hefty fine, perhaps in scholarship funds to the universities, paying said fines is no punishment for these very wealthy individuals and again sends the message that they can buy their way out of a felony. They need to serve jail time. — Serious About Penalties
Dear Annie: The parents who bribed and cheated to get their kids admitted to colleges seemed to forget an important point: How will those students ever succeed in college when they weren’t qualified to be admitted? I agree with the writer who believes these parents did a great disservice to their kids. They did not “do what any loving parent would do.” Loving parents do not try to set the worst example for their children. And forgiving these parents may be the Christian way, but remember: This wasn’t a mistake; these parents knew that what they were doing was wrong but hoped it wouldn’t be discovered. — Know the Difference.
Dear Annie: I was surprised at your suggested punishment for the celebrities who bought their way into elite universities for their kids. You suggested a fine double the amount of the bribes. This amounts to bribing the judicial system the same way they bribed the educational system. If anything, it would reinforce the parents’ and kids’ belief that cheating the system is the way to go. Jail time is the only way to get their attention and to dissuade others from doing the same thing. — Correcting the Record
Dear Annie: I agreed with your response to “Friends in Disagreement,” but I would like to add a couple of comments. First of all, bribing a college official to get your kid admitted is not a natural thing loving parents would do. Loving parents try to teach their kids to be honest and responsible. Bribing a college official demonstrates neither of those traits. And your child will learn a valuable lesson about the consequences of choices when his or her poor high school grades get a denial from an Ivy League school. Your child still can attend a state university. Loving and responsible parents allow their children to learn from the consequences of their choices.
Secondly, while I think your idea of the parents paying hefty fines for their criminal behavior is excellent, I still think a jail sentence should be imposed. These appear to be people who have spent their lives buying their way out of consequences.
Dear Readers: Tune in tomorrow for more feedback on this important discussion.
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“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.