Death penaltyTo Gov. William Donald Schaefer: Let's get...

the Forum

November 03, 1992

Death penalty

To Gov. William Donald Schaefer: Let's get the death penalty in Maryland active. The bank robbery and senseless killings at a Randallstown bank were too much.

You made a statement on WPOC radio to get rid of the machine gun. The gun was made active by an incompetent person. The gun is not the problem, the death penalty is the answer.

Let us get the death penalty now, with less appeal and plea bargaining.

Edd Davis

Baltimore

Pray for help in selecting best candidate

As an enlightened citizen, I know not to write about religion and politics.

Yet, as simply a person, I daydream and think: What if I could write a letter that would be read by many people and ask that they join me in asking a higher power for help? Say I did not specify any particular way of praying or mention any certain deity.

Somehow I think we all have some deep inner feeling that we are not alone, that even though we are on a mere fly speck in a vast and eternal universe, that there is something that has put this all into motion, is maintaining the mechanism so none of the planets and innumerable stars collide and is watching over us.

Furthermore, we are given free will, yet there seems to be an addendum for those of us who really mess up our lives; we've all read of once hopeless wretches who overcome great odds and go on to finish their lives in positive and helping-others ways. (Read "The Power of Positive Thinking" if you need examples.)

The addendum is "ask for help." I think we really need help for our country, and I wish I could ask citizens to "ask" whomever they have faith in for help in obtaining the best qualified and most helpful people to govern our country.

I do not know what is in the hearts of the candidates, but I believe a higher power does, and I am going to be "asking" every day that we of the United States be given the best. We need all the help we can get.

Carolyn Hedden

Canton, Ill.

Good Samaritans

Recently, en route to a 62-year reunion of my 1930 Eastern High School class, I found myself trapped in a sea of automobiles and people less than a block away from a most colorful and happy parade on Cold Spring Lane.

Cars were parked solid on streets and in alleys, while others were being patiently and cheerfully guided through the intricacies of getting turned around and started in the opposite direction to keep appointments elsewhere.

I just want to say "thank you" to the two strangers who waved me through my backing-and-forthings to get me safely -- and undented -- to my reunion on time.

There must have been many more such heroes and Good Samaritans who earned similar words of appreciation.

Evelyn R. Esler

Baltimore

Expulsion policy

Your Oct. 13 editorial titled "Discipline disparity" contained significant inaccurate information.

It stated that until last year, Baltimore County public school students found to be using drugs were permanently expelled. It was also inappropriately stated that the school system's drug policy was softened last year so offenders could be considered for re-admission to day classes after undergoing treatment and attending night school.

Permanent expulsion was never a part of the school system's drug policy. Since the 1977-78 school year, all students expelled for drug violations and their parents have been advised of the requirement of successful participation in an alternative education program for readmission to the regular day school program.

On Nov. 8, 1990, the Baltimore County Board of Education strengthened readmission requirements, not softened them as expressed in the editorial, to include not only participation in alternative education but also screening for degree of drug use, participation in the type of counseling as determined by the screening process and a drug education program.

Through the years, all expelled students have been automatically considered for readmission to the day school program at quarterly meetings of the Expulsion Review Committee.

During the expulsion period, the progress of each student in meeting the requirements for readmission is monitored by a pupil personnel worker. Each school year, most of the students expelled for drug offenses earned readmission.

The school system's firm and caring drug policy has been emulated by school systems throughout the nation.

As society combats the terrible drug problem, it is important to disseminate accurate information regarding a program that works.

Thomas J. Jordan

Timonium

The writer is a former coordinator of pupil personnel for Baltimore County Public Schools.

Cigarettes and women

The Baltimore-Washington area was recently host to the Virginia Slims Shopping Fling, courtesy of Philip Morris Inc., the maker of Virginia Slims cigarettes.

The event featured discount shopping, fashion shows, make- overs, prizes and food. A portion of the proceeds was donated to LifeSongs for AIDS, Inc.

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