I agree with Judy Mann's column ''Where Are the Healers?'' {Metro, July 4}. I am a white elementary school teacher in a suburban school with a 90 percent minority population (mostly black). The school is in a drug-infested area where I struggle every day to keep students from turning to drugs.

During the course of the Barry investigation, we had many discussions on the charges and the ramifications of Mayor Barry's arrest. Because of the ''publicity seekers,'' the students often strayed off the facts of the case and debated racism. Children of today, whether they be white, black or purple, need role models who help the community, not models who hinder it.

Jesse Jackson, Bishop George Stallings and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan should be setting a positive example instead of using publicity in negative ways to avoid the real issue. They should be helping to build a unified community by admitting the ''shortcomings'' of a prominent leader.

The children of the black community emulate these leaders. When these ''publicity seekers'' focus on racism and not the real issues of the case, they confuse the children who are already confused enough.


I think Judy Mann's column should be recognized as a gutsy piece of journalism that performed a desperately needed service to the community.

The writer pointed out that Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and "Bishop" George Stallings have succeeded only in inflaming the already lousy relations between blacks and whites resulting from the Barry circus. She laments the lack of calming rhetoric from responsible black leaders. Since this has not been forthcoming, perhaps the mantle of leadership must be taken by black columnists such as Carl Rowan and William Raspberry, truly responsible and respected journalists.

I've lived in the Washington area for 35 years and have never seen race relations at such a low point.

JOHN LUTZ Rockville