Our Dangerous Schools

Readers write

April 05, 1992

From: Susan Nagel

Severna Park

The articles in March 29th's Anne Arundel County Sun about schoolviolence ("Fear of violence looms in county schools' hallways," "A look, a word, and attitude -- and another fight begins," "Race, class tensions underly unease at Annapolis," and "A search for alternativesto the fist") about school violence are alarming and chillingly accurate.

Violence is ingrained in the fabric of our society and in the youth culture. Like an insidious cancer that has spread to many parts of the body, there is no quick fix or uncomplicated surgery available to remove it.

Heaven help us if the wise gurus at the State Department of Education tackle the problem. Perhaps they'll add anothertwo-week test to the already ludicrous MSPP attery.

Maybe they'lladd incidents of violence to the school report card and penalize schools with too many fights. If the problem becomes too pervasive, perhaps they'll require all local jurisdictions to maintain a security force in each school.

Of course, all the additional expenses incurred by the extra manpower and mandatory testing will not be funded by the state.

THANKS TO LEGISLATORS

From: Mary Akers

Brenda Jann

Pasadena

On behalf of our entire family, we would like to extend special thanks and appreciation to those officials who went above andbeyond to help bring the Rock Creek Dredging Project to a highly successful conclusion.

We deeply appreciate Congressman Tom McMillen's Solomon-like intervention during the many months and meetings needed to bring agreement among the various agencies. Every time (and there were many) we were told the project was dead, Congressman McMillen resurrected the project and put it back on track. Thanks also to his very dedicated aide, Nina Oligino.

We owe special thanks to Sen. Phil Jimeno for hanging in there with us all these years and never taking no for an answer. We could always count on him to return our calls and share our concerns. Thanks, too, to Del. Joan Cadden for support and updates and Dels. Kolodziejski and Huff for their support.

We would like to thank Gov. Schaefer for being good to his word and providing funding, courageous in this critical financial time, and Secretary of the Environment Perciasepe for his approval for the completion of the project.

We very much want to thank Compton Wilson, dredging contractor, whose incredible patience during negotiations enabled this project to become reality for us. Thanks, also, to the federalpeople, Tom Filip of ACOE and Ted Erickson of the EPA, for their interest and support of this experimental project.

We are delighted with the prospects this holds for the environmental future of our area. With the removal of the harmful sediments, we are confident our health issues will be resolved.

Whatever extraneous concerns others may have, we who live here and have fought for so many frustrating years for a solution truly believe this will be a turning point for RockCreek.

Lest anyone misunderstand our last reported concern about riparian rights, this is a private matter of water access, which we have been reassured will be resolved and should have no reflection on the great value of this project.

It would have been easy to ignoreone family's plight or to be indifferent to a small environmental area, so we are fortunate to have such outstanding representatives dedicated to constituent concerns.

A NIGHT FOR PIZZA-LOVERS

From: Barbara Lawton

Glen Burnie Park PTA

They played to a packed house on March 27, 1992. There was standing room only for those folks who arrived after the first pizza came out of the oven!

It was Glen Burnie Park Elementary School's Fifth Grade Pizza Night, and what a nightit was!

The pizzas were hot and spicy, and so were the performances of all 30 students who danced and can-canned the entire evening.

Thank you to all those who supported this group of students in their endeavor -- parents, neighbors and relatives.

The committee of parents that worked with these students to organize this event especially want to thank our principal, Jerry S. Christian, and fifth-grade teacher Randy Rice for continued support and good wishes. Through their hands-on commitment, making pizzas and taking the orders of all those customers, and their enthusiasm for the students at all times, weare indebted.

Look out, Williamsburg, we are on our way!

GIVE MCMILLEN A MESSAGE

From: Edward and Betty Lou Riley

Annapolis

Rep. Tom McMillen should understand that all Marylanders need his public support for H.R. 3732, the Budget Process Reform Act, sponsored byRep. John Conyers (D-Mich.). This bill would provide $4 billion in deficit reduction and $6 billion for education, job training, health care and many other necessary domestic programs, some of which are duefor severe cuts in federal support in 1992-1993.

We face furloughs, pink slips and financial disaster in Maryland. I would suggest that Tom either represent our needs and interests in Washington or look for a new line of work in November.

It is especially puzzling to me why Tom is waffling on this issue, since shifting these funds from savings in unnecessary military spending, which will take place this year in any case, guarantees that there will be no increase in taxes or the federal deficit as a result of his support for H.R. 3732.

If you are as angry as we are, you might want to leave Tom a message at (202) 225-8090. So far, our calls have not even received the courtesy of a reply.

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