Letter: Deaths spark moral debate

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The Independent Online
Sir: I write in response to Julia Draper's letter (19 February). I had a relatively similar upbringing to the one she is proposing for her children, but now at the age of 16, I want to do different things. The novelty of engaging in wholesome activities soon wears off once friends suggest something better. Peer pressure is not to be ignored: the young and impressionable are not necessarily those who have had an 'unstable' childhood.

Life can be very confusing for a teenager: the unity of doing what other friends are doing can give a sense of identity which we all need, coupled with the excitement of doing something forbidden. I am not trying to excuse the increase in juvenile crime, merely pointing out that so much of what we do depends on circumstance and the opportunities that are available to us.

Yours sincerely,

ELIZABETH NIGHTINGALE

Sheriff Hutton,

North Yorkshire

19 February

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