From: James B. Kraft
It was very interesting to read Michael Deets' recent letter ("Private school parents deserve a break," Feb. 10) to saddle the Democratic Party and (former County Executive M. Elizabeth Bobo with the opinions of Ken Stevens on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union.
As regards the issue of urging the school board to stop busing parochial school children in Howard County, Mr. Deets should be aware that Ms. Bobo during her 10 years as executive and as a county councilmember never supported such an effort.
Furthermore, the Democratic Party of Howard County and the Democratic Central Committee of Howard County has never taken such a position.
It's a shame that Republican leaders in this county, such as Mr. Deets, cannot deal with thefacts but must continually attempt to shade them and mislead by influence and innuendo.
Finally, Mr. Deets mentions twice "the fiscal mess left in the wake of Liz Bobo's terms as county executive." He certainly cannot be serious about this.
The entire country is in a fiscal mess as a result of 10 years of Reagan-Bush mismanagement and corruption, but that's a subject for another time.
Suffice it to say that Republican attempts to bash the Democratic Party on the basis of opinions of Ken Stevens or the American Civil Liberties Union simply will not be tolerated.
Editor's note: The writer was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the House of Delegates, District 14B,in the November 1990 general election.
PRIVATE SCHOOL AID
Michael Deets and Barbara Coakley (Letters, Feb. 10, "Private school parents deserve a break"; "Don't penalize parents of parochial schoolers") unfairly criticize Kenneth Stevens for opposing continued tax aid for sectarian private schools.
Howard County spends twice as much per student to transport students to private sectarian schools as to public schools.
This is unfair both to taxpayers and to public school students.
In transporting students to sectarian private schools, Howard County is taxing all citizens for the partial support of schools which discriminate in hiring and admissions in ways not permitted in public schools.
The private sectarian schools benefiting from the county's largess, unlike the public schools, are not required to serve handicapped children and, we are willing to bet, do not come anywhere close to being religiouslypluralistic.
Howard County's church school parents have a privilege not available to public school parents: They can get publicly paidtransportation to the school of their choice (once the school has chosen to accept their children), while public school parents have their kids bused only to the school serving their designated attendance area.
Regardless of cost calculations, Howard County taxpayers should not be compelled to help support private education based on sectarian religion.
Twice in the 1970s, Maryland voters declared in referenda that they did not wish to be taxed to aid sectarian education.
Finally, Howard County is fortunate to have a gadfly like Ken Stevens to call attention to injustices.
Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of the Americans for Religious Liberty.
RERUN OF FAMILIAR LITANY
From: R. D. Bush
Mr. Stevens' views are well documented in the Columbia Flier and go back more than15 years (Feb. 17, The Howard County Sun, Letters).
Any subject that has any relationship to religion will trigger a predictable messianic response from Mr. Stevens.
I'm surprised that any private educational institution is still receiving federal and state aid in Maryland.
His pontifications have never been open to question, compromise or interpretation.
He has continued to recite his litany almost word for word since the beginning, never changing any of his scriptures. . . .
In Howard County, the slogan "In Ken We Trust" might be appropriate.
If we can just keep all the God-fearing people in their place and let the self-righteous dicta of Mr. Stevens prevail, we would become a more moral, friendly and responsible society without all those various religious trappings that plague our daily lives.
STUDENTS: JUST SAY NO
From: Lynn Kuselias
I would like to present my opinion of condoms made available through schools ("HCC to allow distribution of condoms on campus," Feb. 3).
I feel that if schools are giving out condoms, it is giving the erroneous impression that sex with condoms is safe.
Condoms are one of the poorest choices for birth control. Considering this, they can't possibly be good protection against AIDS.
After all, AIDS isn't an inconvenience. It is a deadly disease that threatens not only presentsexual partners but all future sexual partners.
It also threatensthe lives of future children conceived.
It seems to me that the smartest way of dealing with AIDS on school campuses is to teach that premarital sex is no longer advisable.
I am only 34 years old, butI remember schools being very moral when I was growing up.
This is helpful because the kids need to know that it is OK to say no to sex.
It is when they think that everyone else is "doing it" that it becomes a pressure in their lives.