From: Christopher C. Boardman
I was shocked and saddened to read that Christine Haggett, president of the Harford County Education Association, had to resort to physical violence to make her point at a recent meeting of the Harford County Board of Education.
While I am sure that the term "physical violence" may be regarded as an exaggeration of the act, which led her to throw a bag of coins at the board president, it is still an act of physical aggression which can hardly be mistaken.
The teachers that I learned from during my education were the civilizers of people. They taught that persuasion, patience, marshaling arguments with solid information were the pathways to success, not just for individuals but for society as a whole. Ideally, teachers represent the masteryof knowledge over ignorance, reason over passion, light over darkness, civilization over barbarism.
I think it goes without saying that there is not a single teacher whom Christine Haggett represents whowould tolerate a student throwing something at them in the classroomjust because the student did not like what the teacher was saying.
The Harford County schools do not tolerate physical fighting between students, and the penalties for assaulting teachers are even more severe. Yet to get respect, teachers must also give it. They do not have the authority to set budgets and vote on budgets. And they don't have the right to demean those who do.
We live in tough times that demand more of everyone.
Teachers are treated well, and Harford County has made an effort to accommodate their needs. But the county has other needs as well, and resources are stretched. Meanwhile, teachers still have their jobs.
I am totally disgusted with the teachers' attitude in this county, when they are so self-preoccupied that they cannot see that other needs have to be met. George Lisby, the boardpresident, deserves an apology from Ms. Haggett, as do the citizens who support the teachers with their hard-earned tax money.
WILSON MUST RESIGN
From: Carl D. Rogers
I was appalled when I recently read of the account of Jeffrey Wilson leading the teachers union and teachers in a shouting match against the school board. Ever since this man was elected president of our County Council he has created nothing but disrespect and has brought disservice and dishonor to the position.
I ask the voters of this county to demand his resignation at once. If he does not, then we should use whatever legal means available to remove him before there is anymore dishonor to this office.
Due to space limitation, let's look at just his highlights of the last year:
* This teachers item is not a question of whetherteachers should have raises or not. It is of a man who for politicalreasons sold his office and his soul for votes and possible donations.
* He has cost every taxpayer at least $200 more per year for bills he has ridden herd over.
* He passed a tree bill that cost taxpayers hundred of thousands of dollars, but exempts developers for 20,000 more homes. These developers have purchased several thousand dollars worth of tickets to his fund-raiser. I wonder why?
* For political reasons, reversed a previous council's vote on a rubble fill without sound legal advice. This has cost the taxpayer $100,000 in legal fees because of the council's arrogance and stupidity. I feel thereought to be some legal way to force this council to reimburse the county for this loss.
If we cannot get him out of office at once, there ought to be a legal way to block him from having any say in the school budget because of a clear conflict of interest.
SMOKING BAN: NOT TRIVIAL
From: Sarah Sheckells
I am writing in regard to a letter to the editor published Feb. 23, "A trivial pursuit,"by Rob Myers of Baldwin. He commented on Mark Guidera's column, "School's smoking ban is a victory in a very good cause," Harford County Sun, Feb. 2.
I totally disagree with him. I am one of those "15 Fallston High School students," and I am a volunteer on the Smokefree Task Force of 2000 Committee. I do not appreciate Mr. Myers undermining the efforts of myself and other volunteers because we have worked very hard to make even small changes for the better.
We are not wasting the board's time by bringing up issues such as teachers smoking inside the school building. Second-hand smoke affects everyone. For those who have breathing problems, like myself, the effects are even worse.
The cause of the 15 Fallston High School students and myself, and the causes of the Smokefree Task Force of 200 and the American Cancer Society are very noble. We, as a group, are trying to ensure the rights of non-smokers and secure the health for all people. By doing this, our cause is more than meaningful. It is a significant step toward a safer environment.
In the future, I hope people stop and think before they write a letter such as the one published in the Harford County Sun. This is not a trivial pursuit because innocent livesare becoming endangered.