Letter: Judge Valdez was children's leading advocate
I enjoyed Marissa Lang's article about the retiring 3rd District Juvenile Court Judge Andrew Valdez ("Champion for children," Nov. 2) .
This was not just any judge as Valdez committed the past 20 years of his life trying to save kids of all races and backgrounds so they could grow into productive, law-abiding citizens. As Lang pointed out, he tried to get them to see that real power came from education and not a gun.
This judge didn't just send kids to the detention center, he went with them. He visited them on a regular basis, trying to get them to see some light in their darkest days. He would visit them wherever they were, whether it be DT, school, rec center, home or the streets. He would even pair them up with adult mentors to help guide them.
The high school students I taught either loved the judge or hated him, but they always knew he had their best interest at heart. He was their leading advocate, trying to get them to grow up and make something of themselves like he did.
I don't think Salt Lake City will ever see another "kids judge" like Judge Valdez.