Redistricting Must Look At The Big PictureThe county...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 23, 1994

Redistricting Must Look At The Big Picture

The county school board just made a very important decision on Jan. 5. The board of eight individuals from all over the county decided to study total countywide school redistricting. This is a major event. Planning leading up to the recommendation of the superintendent will take place from January 1994 until the first board meeting in December. The actual vote on a plan would not take place until April 1995. This time line is very important as we look at the total issue of countywide redistricting and our school facilities needs.

Why was this decision made? Because of the continued unchecked housing explosion occurring in Anne Arundel County, and because it is in the best interests of the children we serve, in reference to the number of seats we have available. . . . The issue of redistricting in the Anne Arundel County school community must not be looked at in small isolated pieces but in a total big picture county perspective. The state, county and Annapolis city elected representatives need to work with the school board during this process. The growth of this county must take place in a controlled and planned fashion, so that the Board of Education can do its job in providing quality instruction to all public school students in Anne Arundel County. The people positions of public trust must deal with problems. . . .

When the county is under a tax cap and growth is of utmost concern to the school system, we must find answers and solutions to tough issues. My colleagues and I on the board need the cooperation of all citizens in Anne Arundel County. . . . Please submit your input to the School Board, c/o Board Administrative Assistant, 2644 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD, 21401. . . .

In the past, the eight-member boards have tried to piece together redistricting year to year with little or no success. . . . The task is enormous but necessary and doable. . . .

The growth of this county must take place in a controlled and planned fashion because willy-nilly growth will destroy the quality of life in this fine county called Anne Arundel.

Thomas R. Twombly

Pasadena

The writer is president of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.

False Accusations

I would like to commend Carolyn Roeding on her involvement with Anne Arundel County's PTA. She has invested herself 110 percent.

However, she seems to have lost touch with the importance of having our children face the consequences of their actions. As the parent of a learning disabled child, I know only too well how crucial it is to teach our children that our actions affect others and we must all act in responsible ways.

I would like to refer to Carolyn's statement that to punish students who falsely accuse teachers of sexual abuse would deter students from reporting good faith allegations; also to her question "Who is going to determine whether the allegation is false?" In my opinion, the only reportings that would be deterred by punishing those who make false reports would be toward those fabricating allegations for the student's own gains, i.e. grades and avoiding punitive actions that are due them.

One might see these opinions as dark, but as a parent who has seen this happen to others, including Laurie Cook, I feel very strongly that this crime cannot go unpunished. This is no less a crime than filing a false police report or a false fire alarm. . . . In answer to Carolyn's question as to who would determine if allegations are false, our own court system did just that when Laurie Cook was found innocent and cleared of all charges. . . . Meanwhile, those who are wrongly accused are forced into an unimaginable personal hell. At present our teachers and even these children's parents are at these accusers' mercy and control.

This is no less disgusting than the actions of the teachers found guilty of said abuses. Please teach that lies are wrong. These children must be held accountable and taught the error of their ways now.

Mary Franklin

Glen Burnie

School Crowding

In a Jan. 4 editorial, entitled "Issue for the '90s: School Crowding," you stated, "Anne Arundel County is weighing whether to revive double sessions on the Broadneck Peninsula." The editorial implied this drastic action would be the result of overcrowding. This implication is incorrect.

Statements by various personnel of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education calling for double sessions result from a proposal to close Broadneck High if and when an addition is constructed. In fact, the board's own statistics show Broadneck High in the year 2002 will still be under the state-rated capacity of 1,380 students.

Why a school has to be closed while an addition is under construction has not been explained. This is analogous to the State Highway Administration closing the Beltway because it is widening a bridge or overpass. It just isn't done.

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