City students are shortchangedMike Klingaman's series...

Fans' Forum

November 06, 1990

City students are shortchanged

Mike Klingaman's series pointing out the deficiencies in the Baltimore City schools' girls interscholastic sports and physical education programs reveals more than athletic shortcomings in the city schools. The article concerns just one symptom of a terminally ill educational system. We often read about the shortcomings of students in the system. Sadly, we are reading about the 50 percent who remain in school. The other 50 percent don't even attend school.

Inner city students have tremendous odds stacked against them. They live in drug- and crime-infested neighborhoods. They are often poor. They have few positive role models in the community. More than anything they need the positive outcomes gained from physical education and athletics. Yet these are two programs neglected when budget shortages arise.

What better way is there for students to learn about their bodies, to learn self-discipline, to learn teamwork, to learn cooperation and respect for others than through participation in physical education and athletics? Physical education should be the last program cut during tight fiscal times, not the first.

Comparing Baltimore City to Baltimore County in girls athletics is like comparing Little League with the NFL. Baltimore County has had a landmark girls program for over 60 years. Recently, despite budget cuts, Superintendent Dr. Robert Dubel and his staff and Mrs. Mildred Murray (coordinator of physical education and athletics) have maintained that excellence.

In addition to the 18 girls sports teams offered, Baltimore County requires three years of physical education and a semester course in "Approaches to Wellness," a health course that deals with topics such as human sexuality, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, nutrition and AIDS.

The tragedy that Mr. Klingaman's article truly brings to light is that a geographical boundary and an underfunded, poorly administered city school system has denied to students who desperately need it the rewards of a top-notch athletics and physical education program such as that offered in Baltimore County.

Dennis Sirman

Chairman of health, boys

physical education

and athletics

Hereford High School

'Memorial' is a must

In Bill Tanton's column of Oct. 25, he stated that the Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority were leaning toward

Camden Yards as a name for the new stadium. I agree also, but I side with City Councilman Joe DiBlasi that under no circumstances should the word "memorial" be omitted from whatever name they choose. To do so would be a disgrace to those veterans who gave their lives for this country.

President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address would be very appropriate in this instance. He said, "We are gathered here to dedicate a portion of this battlefield to those who fought and died here. It's only fitting and proper that we do this."

To the Stadium Authority, I say that it is fitting and proper that we name the new stadium "Camden Memorial Park," or "Camden Yards Memorial Park."

William Weiner

Pikesville

A name to be treasured

Every once in a while someone uncovers some buried treasure. This time the privilege belongs to Baltimore . . . if we name our new stadium after Babe Ruth.

If you found a buried treasure in your back yard, and that treasure rightfully belonged to you, wouldn't you be foolish not to use it?

The Rev. Daniel C. Broadwater

Catonsville

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