Letter to the editor | Unfair punishment

October 15, 2013 

It is unfair to impose a life-altering sanction on Penn State students who have an alcohol violation (“Implement zero-tolerance policy,” CDT Thursday) while letting everyone else who violates alcohol laws simply be managed by the legal system.

On some of the biggest weekends we have seen alcohol problems in Centre County, such as State Patty’s Day, more than half of those arrested were not Penn State students. Why target that group for severe punishment?

The violators who are truck drivers, schoolteachers, soldiers, high school students, nurses, computer technicians, hairstylists, plumbers, hotel workers and lawyers are not automatically kicked out of their jobs and forced to move away.

The proposal that violators who are Penn State students should have a more severe punishment is not justice. It also does not solve the problem, because others also violate alcohol laws.

Our alcohol problem is complex. There are no easy answers.

A fair community can’t pick and choose whom to pile on. That’s not the last lesson we should teach young people as we kick them out of town.

After we have forced every Penn State student out of town we will still see family, neighbors and friends killed by drunken drivers. We will still see bar fights. We will still have alcohol-fueled domestic violence. And high school students will still drink illegally.

The people on both sides of College Avenue who attempt to address our version of a problem that exists in every community in the country deserve credit for their energy and efforts.

Bill Mahon

Patton Township

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