School ValuesShame on The Sun. Because of...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 13, 1993

School Values

Shame on The Sun. Because of snow-storm-related school closings, you report that Baltimore County school children will have to attend school four extra days and may miss out on vacation plans, and describe that as ''cruel.'' ("Storm's final cruelty: 5 more school days,'' Mar. 24).

We expect children to learn so they will become productive, self-sustaining members of our society, capable of contributing, competing and succeeding in what has become a global economy.

Yet The Sun's headline announces that the very process which helps children achieve these critically important goals is an intentionally painful experience and, thus, to be avoided.

Characterizing the educational process as cruel only serves to perpetuate the false and counterproductive notion common in this country that school is an inherently unpleasant place to be.

(On the other hand, The Sun publishes articles properly criticizing students' low scores on standardized tests and high drop-out rates. How does calling the educational process ''cruel'' help solve those problems?)

As in other countries where education is highly valued and whose educational systems are light years beyond ours and whose students achieve levels of academic success unmatched in this country, our educational opportunities ought to be cherished, exploited and maximized, rather than deemed punishment.

(Of course, if we really believe that some missed vacation days are more important than time in the classroom, then we ought not to complain about the quality of our educational system since, presumably, we are getting what we want.)

How can we expect children to want to learn and succeed if you tell them that the process hurts? It does not, and you should know better.

Rather than condemn the educational process as cruel, you would contribute more to our community by using your pulpit to trumpet the necessity for education and the opportunities school offers.

William S. Liebman Baltimore

Stop Bickering

Someone should tell those people at the upper echelons of the University of Maryland Medical Center that all that public bickering is offensive to private support, to those who are possible donors and to those who are the fiduciary agents for possible donors.

Or do they ever stop talking and fighting long enough to listen?

Why is it, with all that wealth of professional character and competence in that place, especially in the School of Medicine and in the Department of Medicine, that all we read in the press is pettiness or nastiness or selfishness?

Is that leadership?

Is that the best voice of a philanthropic institution?

Paul Dawson Carre

Baltimore

Gun Ads

I guess it was coming. I should have expected it. I am referring to the elimination of gun ads in your newspaper.

I wish to ask who ''we'' are, referring to your ad? It is a dark day indeed that a device should lower itself by banning an ad category because of political correctness.

Automobile accidents take more lives than ''gun abuse;'' bar them? Can't do that now, can we? Alcohol abuse kills more than "gun abuse." Bar booze ads? Never!

Your newspaper, any paper for that matter, is operated under the protection of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

With the plague in the nation called ''PC,'' the protection of your right to print your paper, unbiased and totally truthful, can be taken away just as easily as your owners are abusing Second Amendment rights. . . .

A. C. Morgan

Hagerstown

Half Is Income

F. Van Dommelen's letter of March 14 ("It's Income") is not totally right. When you put money into Social Security or the company where you work does, half of the payment comes out of the taxpayer's pocket and is taxed at that time.

It is the same as if you put money in a bank account. This money is not taxed when you take it out for you have paid taxes on it already, before you put it into your account. So how can you say "Social Security income is income" when only about half is income? The government gets enough taxes from us already.

Harry B. How Jr.

Baltimore

Guns and Toys

It is difficult for me to understand what The Sun was attempting to convey with the photograph of young boys shooting their toy guns instead of watching TV as part of the Pointer's Run Elementary School "Pull the (Television) Plug Week" (Maryland section, March 13).

Was this a photograph about the joys of childhood play or did the image convey the reality of what childhood has become and what our collective and individual values really are?

As a psychologist with the public schools in a neighboring county, I am seeing that the line between play and reality is becoming more and more fuzzy. Students as young as four years old from all racial and socio-economic backgrounds are bringing guns and other weapons into schools with regularity. Their parents typically find it difficult to believe that their children could do such a thing; yet the weapons keep coming.

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