Suburb needs an all-girls middle schoolEducation officials...

the Forum

March 15, 1993

Suburb needs an all-girls middle school

Education officials in Baltimore County are to be commended for enriching the lives of students by offering specialized new magnet schools.

Certainly the new centers at Milford Mill, Woodlawn, Carver and Kenwood will offer high school youngsters exciting educational challenges in the years to come.

Unfortunately, these opportunities come too late for some students who, discouraged by the lack of options early on, may have lost hope and ambition by the ninth grade.

I propose the establishment of a middle school magnet program that would offer some of these kids options at a critical time in their lives -- the crossroads of adolescence.

My plan calls for the creation of an all-girls middle school located in the eastern region of Baltimore County within the next two years.

There is ample research and documentation to support this proposal. As Lyn Brown and Carol Gilligan have pointed out in their book, "Meeting at the Crossroads," many girls find themselves lost in the educational system by ages 11 and 12.

By the time some girls reach high school, they have already surrendered their voices of independence and pushed their true feelings and thoughts underground in hopes of appeasing societal pressure.

Having spent two years of intensive volunteer work with this age group at Sheppard Pratt Hospital, I have seen a great need for other choices, particularly for girls, who appear particularly at risk during this time. One of these options should include a single-sex school.

Traditionally, all-girls schools have been limited to private education or to public high schools. This need not be the case.

Social and psychological issues of particular concern to females, such as pregnancy, depression, eating disorders and the like develop long before high school. An all-girls middle school would create a comfortable setting where students could address these concerns before they become problems.

I hope that parents, students and community leaders in Baltimore County will endorse such a proposal and offer it their full support. The young girls of our county deserve nothing less.

Dorothy Dowling

Ruxton

The writer has been a middle and junior high school teacher in Baltimore County for 23 years.

Drug costs

About one month ago, I received a copy of Cardi-Sense, a periodical of the makers of Cardizem, a prescription medicine. It was stated in that publication that we in this country are paying less for prescription drugs than people in other countries. That statement is completely false, as I had an experience that proved the opposite is true.

While traveling in Germany in 1989, I noticed I was running short of Cardizem tablets. I visited a doctor who was able to come up with a preparation identical in every respect to Cardizem.

At the pharmacy I was surprised to discover that the amount charged was less than half what I would have paid in the United States. What really amazed me was that the German currency was considerably stronger than our own.

I welcome President Clinton's efforts to induce the drug industry to lower its insane prices to a level that the general public can afford.

Werner S. Strauss

Stevenson

Bizarre cults

It is past time to put a stop to these bizarre and revolting religious cults and their crazy leaders operating in this country.

Of course it is the midget minds, gullible and brain-washed followers of such con men who are the root cause of the problem, allowing themselves to be led with blind obedience into tragic and perilous circumstances.

Sheila Waters

Baltimore

Part of the problem

President Clinton has appointed Vice President Al Gore to head a committee that will investigate waste in government as a way of reducing the deficit.

Recently, our vice president stated that Uncle Sam should support the construction of the supercollider, a most risky investment that taxpayers cannot afford.

It seems that Al Gore is a part of the problem he is supposed to solve.

Joseph Lerner

Baltimore

Flawed bill

The Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill that could have a crippling effect on environmental protection laws in this state.

The proposed Maryland Property Rights Protection Act uses the guise of property rights to undermine environmental protection. The bill would require the attorney general to determine if a law or regulation constitutes a "taking" of property and, if so, how much compensation should be paid.

This bill is unnecessary because the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects property rights. The measure also would be an onerous burden for the attorney general's office.

If passed, the law could result in either the state paying out millions of dollars for alleged "takings" if property owners felt they were unable to do what they wish with their land, or important legislation such as the Chesapeake Bay critical areas program could be scrapped. It could also have implications for local zoning ordinances. . .

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