As a teen attending a Montgomery County public high school, I must commend Patrick Welsh for his article on teen sexuality {Outlook, Nov. 29}. It depicted the truth.

Many, but certainly not all, high school students are having sex. Parents might like to think otherwise, but they must face reality. I would especially praise Mr. Welsh's acknowledgment of the fact that sexually active teens are not limited to underachievers, dropouts or minorities. I am not commending or condemning teen-age sex. It is a choice teens make themselves. Yes, some are pressured, some are intoxicated and have sex irresponsibly. Some face the consequences, others do not.

There are those who have sex only with someone they love and have a strong commitment to. Is this moral? Parents will argue this forever, but what makes the decision is the teen's feelings, not the parent's.

The main argument against teen sex seems to be that teens are not responsible or mature enough to handle sex and its consequences. Parents and teachers can debate whether it is right or wrong all they like, but they cannot change the reality. It is the teen who makes the choice. It is his values that influence the final decision.

Adults can only do a few things: educate children about sex at an early age, and let them know the consequences. Today, especially with the scare of AIDS, no one can afford to be uneducated. Parents must start talking about sex with their children -- young children. If parents want to teach their values, they must start early. Influencing a 10-year-old is one thing, but trying to influence a 16-year-old is quite another.

TAMARA OOMS Bethesda