RE DOM Giordano's Nov. 30 op-ed about not buying your kids a Michael Vick jersey for Christmas:

Being a parent to several young men, I wanted to address his belief that buying a Vick jersey is giving the man a pass on what he did.

Vick has admitted what he had done was wrong and cruel. He went to prison and served his appointed sentence.

He now volunteers and addresses schools to hopefully dissuade some other young people from the mistakes he's made. But there are always groups who believe that they haven't received their due pound of flesh from him.

These animals deserved better and now they are getting the help they need. He has to live with the knowledge that he hurt innocent animals.

But that is his pain. The man plays football. He doesn't run the country, he doesn't sit on City Council (that's another story, DROP), he plays a highly profitable sport. That's all.

Who would I choose to be a role model for my sons? Me. I go to work, working two or three jobs at times to support them. And their father, because he made time for them and helped them reach manhood as productive citizens. My mother, who has helped me out occasionally when the need arose. So buying a jersey is not giving the man a pass.

We as parents need to reinforce the idea that redemption is not for the famous or the infamous.

Vick still has many demons that he has to confront daily and weekly. But to say he should do more is insulting. Each time that statement is made, the very next one says he should give a generous contribution to the group that they support - how much do they consider is generous?

So, yes, Dom is right, parents should raise their standards for role models.

Close the magazines, turn off the TV, VCR, DVD and turn the mirror around. Our biggest role models are ourselves and our God.

Stephanie Stith, Philadelphia