After reading Laura Sessions Stepp's "Teaching Values in a Time of Trial" {Outlook, Sept. 2}, I am once again outraged over the entire Barry incident. The rage has been smoldering for months and is now ready to explode.

As a typical Northern Virginia housewife with two small children, what could I possibly know, right? I know right from wrong. I know, for example, that when I drive above the speed limit, I am breaking the law, face a chance of getting caught and will pay the fine if caught.

The issue is about more than drugs; it is about honesty and integrity. Have they gone completely out of style? I am so ashamed this has become a racial concern. I only wish Mr. Barry were white so I could freely condemn his disgusting actions without fear of being thought a racist. I do know that if a private citizen (white or black) was caught doing drugs, he or she would not be claiming victory right now. The justice system has failed us on this one.

What could Mr. Barry do to regenerate the faith he so blatantly betrayed? Mr. Barry could announce a formal apology to all the children whose trust he enlisted in his now almost comical anti-drug campaign. The children deserve it, and confession is beneficial for the soul. Also, it doesn't seem out of line for an apology to go out to every mother and father in the District who lost a child to drugs.

This is not a "racial thing"; it is a "character thing." Let us vote for representatives hoping they have character. Once we know they do not, let's try someone else. This goes for candidates in every U.S. city, not just Washington.

JENNIFER SANSONE Herndon