I am writing in regard to the opinion piece by Edgar Allan Beem entitled “Honor code or inquisition?”. He says “Even less do I understand why anyone would rat them out. Nothing very honorable about that either.”

I would ask Mr. Beem, at what level of illegal behavior is it acceptable to “rat them out”? Or is he condemning all reporting of illegal behavior – does he find it dishonorable to report someone for bullying in schools? For cheating? For assaulting someone? For stealing? Is he asking that teens be able to pick and chose when it is honorable and when it is not? Or is he just upset by reporting of illegal drinking?

No matter what his intent, the message he is giving is not one that I condone. Illegal behavior should be reported, not hidden, not ignored. Maybe if adults or teen peers stepped in more often and more quickly when teens are making unfortunate choices, we could help guide them better in their decisions, instead of letting the behavior continue out of hand until the courts have to deal with it. That result benefits no one.

Mike Fletcher
South Portland