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As I read about the invasion of “values education” in the District’s schools (“Character Actors,” 1/4), I was reminded of my days working for the city of Gaithersburg. The same invasion took place under the name of “Character Counts!” But “Character Counts!” did not just invade the schools; it also invaded the entire city government. Personally, I thought this was a very good idea. Children need examples, and what better examples than the leaders of the city?

In practice, however, it did not work that way. Public meetings were public beatings if you were a city employee. Without fail, the city leaders would take advantage of the televised audience to publicly berate city employees for any number of things. This kind of behavior may play well to voters, but I am not sure it sends a good message to children. Are children to understand that you should respect everyone except public servants? If that’s the case, then the pool of public employees will be shrinking every day.

Arlington, Va.