Boos and JeersCritics of School Superintendent Stuart...


July 10, 1993

Boos and Jeers

Critics of School Superintendent Stuart Berger and the Baltimore County School Board have accused them of refusing to listen to opposing viewpoints. Some have even gone so far as to say they repress free speech.

These critics were given an open forum where they directed their opinions and grievances to Dr. Berger and the board. They chose to boo and jeer from the security of the crowd those individuals who voiced support of the school board's policies.

Practice what you preach. Our children are watching.

Patty Nichollis

Loch Hill

Negating Adoption

"The law," said Mr. Brumble in Dickens's Oliver Twist, ''is a ass.''

To appreciate the wisdom of this assertion, one need look no further than Michigan, where ''the law'' has ruled that 2-year-old Jessica DeBoer, raised since birth by loving adoptive parents, must be taken from them and turned over to her biological parents who live in Iowa and have sued for custody.

The reason given for this insane decision, which violates the well-established principle that priority must be given to the ''best interests of the child,'' are not applicable in this case; therefore, Michigan courts have no ''jurisdiction.''

Try explaining that word to little Jessica, who will likely be emotionally scarred as a result of this legal intrusion into her life, an intrusion which despite the good intentions of ''the law'' amounts to nothing less than state-sanctioned kidnapping.

If it were in my power to advise Jessica's parents, I would tell them to take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court and if they failed there as well, to take Jessica and run, or hide, or do whatever it might take to prevent this travesty of justice from ever taking place -- with full knowledge of the legal consequences they might face if caught.

When the law is an ass it does not deserve to be respected, especially when it threatens to harm a helpless child.

Howard Bluth


Nigerian Decision

If Nigeria is to be considered a ''natural leader of West Africa'' as mentioned in the editorial June 30, the people of Nigeria must demonstrate their understanding of political democracy and its related principles.

Democracy does not only mean ''free and fair election,'' but great respect for law and order. The latter must be a number one priority for stability and prosperity in every nation.

Why did the election commission hold the election under a complete defiance of a federal court's order? Does the Nigerian law or constitution allow the election commission to operate in disobedience of law and order?

Why did the election commission refuse to adhere to the order of the federal court by another political group prior to the election date? I am sure you can now see why the government voided the election results.

Only God knows what could have happened in Nigeria if the government had ordered the closure of the voting stations. Congratulations to the people and the Nigerian government for their consideration. That is democracy.

The people exercised their rights to vote and the government exercised its authority to insure discipline in Nigeria.

It is very simple. If you want to have Western democracy in Nigeria, operate within the frame of law and order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The views of Western observers should not be the basis for democracy in Nigeria or Africa. Western observers are not accountable to the Nigerian people. Let Liberia and Somalia be a great lesson to Africa.

Joseph Morris


Horton Column

I look forward to reading Tom Horton's ''On The Bay'' on Saturday mornings.

It is serious yet diverting, often instructive, seldom controversial and always written in an easy style.

Thank you for publishing the column.

Julia C. Baker


Values and Rights on the Waterfront

One of life's greatest pleasures is living near the water in a good climate and watching the birds dive for their meals, or hopping into the boat for a spin on the water or to go fishing.

But stop your dream and come to reality. Maryland's environmental laws may prevent your dreams from being realized with their many restrictions, which are applied to the small landowners as well as large corporate ones.

Why do waterfront construction problems exist? The question can be answered easily but needs some background explanation.

The Nixon administration's National Environmental Policy Act stated that we must balance man with his environment. Prior to 1969, there seemed to be a trivial relationship between the two.

Advances made in encouraging the environmental protection movement were stimulated by the actions of national and local environmental groups and by John Muir's earlier Western conservation efforts.

The worship of "mother earth and her resources," the philosophy typical of an earth scientist's daily practice, was transformed into federal, state and local legislation designed to force the issue.

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