letters | Crash course in global relations

Casual reaction overlooks dangers of traveling abroad

I take issue with the conclusions arrived at by the editorial “Student’s China protest: Re-education at Newton North.” Calling Henry DeGroot a “feisty, red-blooded American kid,” and saying that his “actions [were] a bit childish” and that he “probably deserved a lecture” displayed a casual attitude toward a very serious situation that exists in today’s scary world, particularly for young people.

The notion that a citizen of the United States is invulnerable to punishment for breaking the laws or mores of a foreign hostile country is a disservice to a generation eager to travel and experience life in other lands.


Unlike earlier days, Americans are not welcomed in certain countries. Doing such things as hiking in the mountains of Afghanistan and Iran, or writing words that are obviously unwelcome in a Communist-controlled country, as DeGroot did, are not adventurous; they are plain stupid and dangerous. Many young people have ended up in jail in other countries from such highjinks. The sooner high school-age people realize this, the safer they will be when they travel abroad.

John T. Gardiner


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