Banned In Severna Park, Teens To Try Dancing In Arnold

September 26, 1990|By Dianne Williams Hayes | Dianne Williams Hayes,Staff writer

Teen-agers in Severna Park are planning to put on their dancing shoes despite closed doors at Severna Park High school.

More than 300 county middle school students are taking a lockout at Severna Park High by principal Oliver Wittig in stride.

Jim Magliano, a parent who organized the planned Sept. 14 dance for the Severna Park Teen Venture Club, said the club will move its dances to Severn River Junior High in Arnold, beginning Friday.

"It's our new home," Magliano said. "We have no problem with the principal there."

The dances were organized for students in grades 6, 7 and 8 to keep them off the streets on weekends. The club received a $2,400 grant from the county Department of Parks and Recreation to help pay for the bimonthly events.

Although the club has found a new site for future dances, members remain angry at Wittig for refusing to allow the club into the gymnasium at Severna Park High or even to allow students inside to call their parents, a move that left many students waiting up to four hours for rides home.

Magliano said school board members still owe his organization explanations for Wittig's actions.

During the last board meeting, Magliano and Joe Campbell, a county police officer and club organizer, spoke for numerous upset parents. But the group was not allowed to discuss the details of the misunderstanding during the general meeting because school officials were identified.

In a separate room, Deputy Superintendent C. Berry Carter listened to the complaints and said he needed to hear the principal's side.

But Wittig insisted this week that he does not allow outside groups to use the school building -- even though the Teen Venture Club has conducted activities at the school in the past.

Magliano said the club confirmed the canceled Sept. 14 date with the school's business manager. In a letter to dance organizers, Wittig commended the group for its efforts, but said he was under the impression that the group wanted confirmation of seven dates for dances at the high school or none at all.

He said that any arrangements made with the school's new business manager, Teresa Molnar, were void.

"Mrs. Molnar joined the staff in January and had not had a previous request for a dance by an outside group," Wittig wrote to the group. "She was not familiar with this policy.

"It is regrettable that you and your group were inconvenienced last Friday, but the circumstances which I have cited have contributed to the misunderstanding. I also regret that parents without full knowledge of all the pertinent facts have made an incorrect conclusion about the situation."

The following is the new dance schedule for the Severna Park Teen Venture. All dances will be conducted from 7 to 10 p.m. on Fridays at Severn River, 241 Peninsula Farm, Arnold. Admission is $3.

*Sept. 28

*Oct. 12

*Oct. 26 (Halloween Dance)

*Nov. 16

*Nov. 30

*Dec. 14 (Christmas Dance)

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