About 40 Parkville High students, who drove to Towson yesterday to tell County Executive Roger B. Hayden they are unhappy with education budget cuts, were barred from his office by sheriff's deputies posted at every door of the old courthouse where the executive works.
L And the students were forced to stage their protest outside.
"I'm really upset," said Jenny Chapman, a Parkville High senior who organized the group. "I thought it was our constitutional right to walk into any state building. We weren't going to break things, we just wanted to talk to Roger Hayden."
Jenny said she had attended the executive's budget hearing on March 24, during which Mr. Hayden invited the public to comment on the county's budget problems.
She said she tried to schedule an appointment with Mr. Hayden last Thursday, but his secretary said he was too busy to meet with the student group. So Jenny wrote a letter to the executive, hoping to hand deliver it yesterday.
In it, she credits her teachers with helping her make the honor role for the first time this year, for assisting her in winning a $20,000 scholarship to the Art Institute of Philadelphia and for creating an environment in which she enjoys learning.
She wanted to tell Mr. Haydenthat "we're upset and angry, and we understand why the teachers are mad.
Mr. Hayden was not available for comment. Carol Hirschberg, director of communications, said granting appointment time is difficult because of the executive's busy schedule.
The students were not admitted to the old courthouse because, she said."bringing large groups of people into the county office building at one time interrupts county business."