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    With kids, constant vigilance is not madness — it’s a must

    I am perplexed after reading Elissa Ely’s account of her visit to a playground with teenage children (“Never far from vigilance,” Op-ed, June 13). Ely notices a grown man who could be watching the children she just dropped off, and does exactly what she should have done next. She stays nearby and watches to make sure that the girls are safe and that the man is not a sexual predator. In the end, the man is just another parent visiting with his infant child. Thank God.

    Ely ends her account by writing, “Everyone is happy. Everyone is safe. We are going mad with vigilance.”

    She seems almost amused and self-critical that she perhaps overreacted because this story ended well.

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    However, the moral of this story is that we are all responsible for protecting all children — no matter who they are, no matter where they are. Constant vigilance is not simply a courtesy or perhaps a good idea. It is what is required of all of us.

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    And we are not mad.

    Thomas A. Sullivan

    West Roxbury