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Letter: A Lurking Threat to Our Children

To the Editor:

The Nov. 1 article about the danger posed by the viral CHaD video of making children famous beyond the safe confines of their own hometown barely scratched the surface. Who knows what hazards lurk whenever children gain publicity for their talent and achievements?

I would suggest that, rather than simply take this story as evidence that “no good deed goes unpunished,” the Valley News take its dire warnings seriously — for who knows what can happen now that newspapers are online and can be read by people all around the world. What if a local sports team were to win a championship or if some athlete were to qualify for a college scholarship, for consideration for an Olympic team or, worst of all, be given the chance to become a professional? Word would spread and it would, indeed, raise the same issues raised in that hospital video. I hope and trust the Valley News will safeguard our children by immediately halting all coverage of high school sporting events. The same is true of students who excel in academics, who volunteer for charity events or who are in danger of becoming famous for their artistic talents. No more coverage of student art, drama, music, social activities or graduations, please! It will raise those same troubling issues.

I hope and trust the Valley News will keep our children safe by never, ever showing pictures of them or giving out their names in any context. Parents and teachers can help: Discourage children from doing anything that might draw attention to them! Achievement raises issues. Excellence is too great a risk. If we can’t stop our children from trying their best, we can at least keep them safe by ignoring their efforts. The Internets are out there: Think of the danger!

Mike Peterson

Lebanon

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Lebanon — Children with tubes sticking out of their arms, some bald from chemotherapy treatments, danced alongside nurses and doctors and bellowed an uplifting pop song called Roar. Within days of its Oct. 21 premiere on YouTube, the video produced by the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth had more than 1 million views and attracted high-profile media attention. The kids who …