At the recent drug and alcohol forum at OPRF, Youth Services Director John Williams challenged parents “to grow a pair.”[‘Parents, I’m asking you to grow a pair,’ News, May 26]

Unfortunately, Williams seems to have fallen prey to what he has long admonished our youth to avoid – following the crowd. Political commentators, on TV as well as on the radio, seem particularly enthralled with this phrase, as a challenge to politicians to exhibit some courage. It is overused, offensive and sophomoric. Perhaps Williams felt the need to use strong language to shock parents into recognizing the seriousness of the problem. One would hope the statistics in the report would serve that purpose.

Williams’ comment sends two messages: First, that crass language is appropriate in a formal setting, and second, that courage is an attribute exclusive to males. He is wrong on both counts, and this is certainly not the kind of message I would expect from someone in Williams’ position.

Patti Marino
River Forest

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