Privileged eliteWas your private school article really...

the Forum

March 16, 1994

Privileged elite

Was your private school article really front page material ("Parents fight for spot in 'right' school," March 9)?

How many people in the Baltimore area are really concerned about the "torture" of a privileged 10-year-old waiting to get into private school?

How about the hundreds of foster children in Baltimore who are waiting for permanent adoptive homes? Or the families of young chemotherapy patients anxiously waiting for signs that a child's hair is growing back?

Your article has more to do with parental elitism than academics.

I am weary of hearing about the angst up the ego ladder. Parents like the ones you've highlighted are giving successful baby boomers a bad name. If you intended to make this subject appealing to readers you missed the mark.

My husband and I are both professionals who could send our three children to private schools. Thank you for reminding me that one of the reasons we keep them in public school is to avoid the elitism and self-involvement so well conveyed by your article.

Nanette E. Strauss

Timonium

Thanks for the aid

I would like to express my thanks to area radio and TV stations for the important public service they rendered schools and other organizations by making timely announcements of closings and late openings this winter.

Virtually the entire population of the Baltimore area has depended on these announcements.

As one who has been a daily caller to these stations on behalf of Villa Julie College, I have marveled at the courtesy and good humor of those taking the avalanche of calls under such pressure.

This service should not be taken for granted by the public. Let's hear it for the stations and their valiant staffs who have made the weather more bearable for all of us.

Virginia Tanner

Stevenson

The writer is director of public relations at Villa Julie College.

Questions

What possible motive can the leadership of the Republican Party have for this frenzied approach to the investigation into President Clinton's involvement in a real estate deal 10 years ago?

Can it be a fear that without any distractions from the many programs he has been involved with -- some having lain dormant for decades to the detriment of the public well-being -- the ineptitude and indifference of the Republicans may be exposed?

Mollie E. Rudow

Baltimore

Victims of drunk drivers need rights

Recently there have been reports in this paper about the passage of a victims' rights amendment that will guarantee crime victims certain rights in the criminal justice system. On March 7, a case was heard in Baltimore County Circuit Court that shows vividly how much these rights are needed.

In August 1993, Sean Hall was driving drunk and killed Jerome Barrett and his 11-year-old nephew, James Cianos. Mr. Hall was convicted of two counts of automobile manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.

During the sentencing hearing on March 7, Mr. Barrett's wife and James' mother both wanted to give victim impact statements in court. As was reported in The Sun, March 8, Judge Christian Kahl denied this request for two reasons:

1. He had already read the written impact statements. 2. He was running late for another case. The first reason sounds acceptable, but the second does not.

A case involving two deaths should never be rushed through the system, no matter what trials are coming up next.

To make matters worse, after saying he was running late, the judge did allow an oral statement to be made by the offender's girlfriend, and the offender himself. Again, the offender was given more rights than the victims.

And the victimization of the families continued. The sentence for killing two people was five years on each manslaughter count and one year for DWI, all to run concurrently, with all but 14 months suspended.

These 14 months will be spent on work release. Is this the kind of sentence any other type of fatality would receive? I doubt it.

Again, there is the double standard. Murder by gun is serious, murder with a car is not. Also, the double standard continues in TC the newspaper. Murder by gun, fire or any other weapon is front page news. Murder by car is buried in the back sections.

No wonder drunk drivers continue to plague us. Both the courts and the papers do not take their crimes seriously.

Donna Becker

Towson

The writer is treasurer of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, northern Maryland chapter.

Here's a health care plan

For some time now, I have read and listened to the explanations of the president's health care plan and various alternatives proposed by Congress. It appears to me that the government is following its usual course in making all solutions complicated. May I offer a better and more simple plan?

Abolish all health programs run by the government: Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration, etc., except for the active military. Cover all Americans including Congress by one plan as described below:

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