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The litany of percentages of Catholic-school students who responded affirmatively to questions about their alcohol and drug use and shoplifting shouldn't prove so shocking ("Catholic Educators Surprised by Data on Student Values,'' April 29, 1987).

When compared with the percentage of confessed public-school participants in the same activities, the differences are clearly explicable. Catholic-school students are just telling the truth about what they do at a higher percentage than public-school students. Think about it; with the curtain drawn and the opportunity to bare one's soul provided, the confessional and the survey questionnaire probably look about the same. Both are good chances to get it off your chest.

May I suggest that the survey results be looked at in a broader--perhaps more alarming framework? Instead of merely comparing them to public-school responses, consider them a good representation of across-the-board participation in society's no-no's.

Pierrette Montroy
Larkspur, Calif.

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