To the letter:

In response to Terrilyn Taylor’s letter (Brownwood Bulletin, Aug. 23):

As a mother of two daughters, your letter appalls me. I have one daughter who survived being a teenager and one that we’ll see in a couple of years if she’ll survive. Any parent who has tried to, or is raising a teenager, understands why the wild animals eat their young. With that being said, I would like to respond to some issues in your letter.

I will agree with you on the fact that 15-year-old girls are not the same as when we were growing up. But society has allowed that and we can only hope that we teach our daughters to know right from wrong. Our children have everything corrupt thrown at them every day, from the Internet, to drugs, to even the music they listen to. Our society allows these well-known singers to call our daughters “female dogs” and “garden tools” and we allow that. Had someone called me that back when I was 15, there would have been a swift kick to the… shins!

Every time my daughters leave the house, whether its in their short cheerleading uniforms, their swimsuits on the way to the lake, or a turtle neck sweater with long pants, my thought is not “Well, because of the way she is dressed, some man is going to think he can put his hands on my daughter.” Therefore, your comment on the way girls dress these days does not stand with me. I have seen the Police Explorer girls hard at work, patrolling the streets at parades and the reunion. Yes, they are attractive young ladies, wearing baggy camouflage pants, green or black T-shirts, sweaty because they are standing in 105 degree heat, hair pulled back in a ponytail, and combat boots. Not my idea of sexy or seductive. You’re right. I don’t have a clue as to how old these girls are, even dressed like this, but I do know that the Police Explorers are usually between the ages of 14 and 18, and I know dang well Sgt. Ariaz knew how old these girls were. So don’t try to let that fly with me, that he didn’t know how old they were.

We can only pray that our daughters know that it doesn’t matter if its the blond, blue-eyed handsome hunk that works at the movie theater, or the fat, sweaty, not even remotely handsome, old enough to be your grandfather cop. Neither man is allowed to put his hands on them.

You ask where were the parents. It’s my understanding that these young ladies came from homes that the father was absent. Did you ever stop to think that maybe their mother was working the midnight shift at one of our local plants in order to support her family, or she had left the house before 6 a.m. to go wait tables at the local cafe and hope she could make enough tips to pay the electric bill that day? Or even worse, she knew exactly where her daughter was, and that she had entrusted her to Sgt. Ariaz to perform Police Explorer duties that day. What parent would not trust their child with a police officer?

I’m far from being a person to cast stones, and you’re right, we all fall short in life one time or another. But God put us on this world to protect our children, and if we don’t, no one else will. These girls need to know that there are people out there that care for them, and whether you like it or not, Ms. Taylor, they are still children. The full responsibility of these actions need to go right back where they started, and that is in the hands of the prepetrator.

Now that I’ve yelled back, I’ll get off my soapbox.

Gayla Tibbitts

Brownwood