Longer School Year QuestionedIn theory year-round schools...


September 12, 1993

Longer School Year Questioned

In theory year-round schools are good, but in practice this may not be so. Many things need to be considered. Some follow:

How easy will it be for parents to get sporadic day-care, as young students will need sitters for three weeks every nine weeks through the year?

If the schools provide for this care, where will that lead, as one of the purposes of year-round schools is to better use the school rooms for educating students and not baby-sitting them?

Will the system accommodate parents who may have more than one student in different grades so that all will have the same vacation time?

How will this affect businesses (Wild World, for example) and vacation spots (Ocean City) that depend on summer clientele?

Baltimore County has recently hired 10-month assistant principals. Won't they have to be paid as 12-month employees, since an administrator should always be in the building when students are present?

Won't it be difficult to hold faculty meetings when some of the faculty will always be out? What about scheduling in-service courses?

Pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and primary teachers have many manipulatives used in their rooms. Will they be removed every nine weeks, stored somewhere and then reassembled in three weeks in a new setting?

Answers to these questions and many more before implementation, please.

Karen W. Gronau

Perry Hall

The Commitment of Adoption

I was appalled to read The Sunday Sun's Aug. 22 article, "We had to get her out of our home." Reporter Michael Ollove described parents who want to return the seven-year-old daughter they adopted nine months earlier, because they cannot handle the child's emotional and behavioral problems resulting from a virtual lifetime of abandonment by biological and foster families.

The father, Martin Jackson, admits that a strong motivation to adopt a little girl was because "my older daughter was looking for a sister." Perhaps the Jacksons should have bought her a puppy instead.

Unlike a pet, which a family acquires to provide pleasure for its members, a child should be adopted for the sole purpose of being loved, nurtured and cared for for herself, not providing a sibling for another family member.

And, unlike a pet, who can be returned if he chews too many shoes or soils the carpet, a child cannot be returned because she spilled Kool-Aid on the kitchen floor and then lied about it.

Theresa Jackson, the mother, described the child as being "cool as a cucumber" when Mrs. Jackson informed her, "I am a good mother, but I'm not a good mother for you." What did she expect? The child's seeming indifference was undoubtedly her only protection from the latest in a lifetime of disappointments at the hands of adults.

I applaud Baltimore County Circuit Judge Edward A. DeWaters for rejecting the Jacksons' attempt to annul the adoption. As a court appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children in Howard County, I have seen first-hand the results of repeated rejection of children by their caretakers.

The judge's decision notwithstanding, the Jacksons contend they will not allow their adopted daughter back into their home. By not honoring their commitment, the Jacksons condemn their adopted daughter to a life spent in a series of foster homes, where she will never benefit from the security of a permanent family.

Hopefully, the result of this tragic story will be a clear message that the adoption of a child presents as much of a commitment as the bearing of one; when biological children challenge,

disappoint or even hurt us, we do not simply give them away. The same must be true for adopted children.

Halaine Steinberg

Owings Mills

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