A letter to the editor written by Richard D. Walter of...


November 15, 1990

A letter to the editor written by Richard D. Walter of Towson and published in The Sun yesterday concluded with a last sentence that should have read as follows: "Democrats represent the party of equal results and as long as that philosophy holds sway we all lose."

Handicapped Students' Choices

Editor: Integrated education, mainstreaming and least restrictive environment are buzz words with meanings which are continually confused by most parents of students with special needs.

Cathy and Charles Kozlowski wrote eloquently [The Sun, Nov. 3] of the benefit Ridge School provides for their daughter. While many parents might call the Ridge School a "most" restrictive environment, the Kozlowskis feel it is an appropriate educational placement for their daughter.


In recent years some groups have advocated placing all handicapped students "in the mainstream" and doing away with special schools. Some have even proposed the elimination of separate special-education classrooms.

The Learning Disabilities Association believes that in order to serve all students in need of special education, the requirement in federal regulations for a continuum of services must be fully met. The federal law intends that if a student will benefit from education in a regular class ` if it is in the best interest of the student and that student is able to participate ` then that is where that student should be placed.

However, it also recognizes that some handicapped students cannot be educated appropriately in a regular classroom or even a regular school building. This means that for some children, separate special-education schools are the most appropriate educational placement and the least restrictive environment. Inherent in a free, appropriate education is a continuum of services, including separate public and private facilities.

Eliminating these schools under the guise of lessening the cost of special education is not a valid reason for even considering this. If students do not benefit from education because they are inappropriately placed, the cost becomes even greater later when these individuals are not prepared to enter the work force.

Those parents whose primary concern is social interaction witnon-handicapped peers have no right to determine what should be best for any other child. Schools like Ridge, Ruxton, White Oak and Chatsworth, all in Baltimore County, fulfill necessary placement options in the continuum of services.

There are other, similar schools across the state. They should not be eliminated because some outspoken people confuse integrated education, mainstreaming and least restrictive environment, and don't know how to apply these terms to the broad range of handicapping conditions.

Irene Spencer.


The writer is president of the Learning Disabilities Association of Maryland.

Liberal Thinking

Editor: In response to Alan Bromberg's letter Nov. 6 ("Republikans"), thinking like this and name-calling is what usually surfaces when legislation dear to liberals is defeated.

Just because a bill is named "Civil Rights" should not guarantee its passage without a hard look at what is included in the bill. The Civil Rights Act of 1990, more aptly named "The Lawyers' Guaranteed Employment Act of 1990," deserved to be defeated. The proponents of the Act, hiding being the cloak of civil rights, attempted to burden the business community with yet another barrier to choice, efficiency and productivity.

The Republicans named in Mr. Bromberg's letter are members of the party of equal opportunity. Democrats represent the party of equal rights and as long as that philosophy holds sway we all lose.

Richard D. Walter.



Editor: Congratulations to the advertising geniuses for mesmerizing enough senior citizens with fear to maneuver a vote against the tax cap for Baltimore County. You won.

I trust you are very proud of your excellence. Just think of all the ineffectual, unserviceable absurdities and unwarranted programs that can be supported (instead of deleted) and more colossal raises to the ''people's representatives'' in Washington.

Wonder who paid for the blitzkrieg? We The Fools -- oops -- People.

Edith Askew Vogt.


Ruthless Dictator

Editor: I was more than a little angered by the casual remark of columnist William Pfaff in his article in The Sun Nov. 1, in which, while writing about Iraq's President Saddam Hussein, the statement has made that he was no more nor less than your average dictator -- in effect, the inference being that we were making a big fuss over nothing as far as dictators go.

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