Private schools must be open only 170 daysAt the...

the Forum

April 07, 1994

Private schools must be open only 170 days

At the insistence of state Schools Superintendent Nancy J. Grasmick, a Senate panel rejected a plea by numerous local school jurisdictions to shorten the school year due to the unusually harsh winter weather this year.

Students of private schools needed no such permission. While state law mandates that all public school students attend school for 180 days a year, private school students are required to attend school for only 170 days.

What is the message here? Are public schools so inferior that they must stay in session for 10 extra days each year to teach the same material?

Or perhaps the state is simply allowing the parents of private school students to buy an extra 10 days of vacation for their children when they pay their private school tuition.

Leslie Kuff

Hunt Valley

The 'Hon' debate

As a native Baltimorean whose forebears have lived in or around Baltimore since the 1820s, I cherish many of the things that are synonymous with the City of Baltimore.

The local term "Hon," which is a part of the vocabulary of some Baltimoreans, is at the center of a debate over the proposed modification of the "Welcome to Baltimore" sign on the northbound Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

I agree with those who have reasoned that just because this term is near and dear to a minority of Baltimoreans is no reason for placing it on a sign which should speak for all residents of Baltimore.

Recently a pro-"Hon" radio personality remarked that those against the "Hon" proposal should lighten up. I suggest that if this proposal is enacted those who look upon Baltimore as a lightweight city will point to this cutesy sign and say, "I told you so."

The possibility of an anti-"Hon" backlash should also be considered. As I pass this sign each day, I can envision several possible scenarios. The newly added "Hon" might be covered with other terms of endearment, defaced or worse.

If in the end the decision is made to refuse to allow the addition of "Hon," the Hon-man should be treated as any other graffiti artist if he/she persists.

This time has come to move on to more important concerns for the City of Baltimore than the persistent but juvenile wishes of a minority of her citizens.

John T. Gurney III

Pasadena

Freeing killers

It is very interesting to see The Baltimore Sun and other bleeding-heart liberals coming out for gun control while advocating leniency for convicted murderers.

The Terrence Johnson case is just the latest example of a cause being championed by the stupid liberals. Mr. Johnson shot and killed two police officers while in their custody. Did he observe a seven-day waiting period before grabbing the gun?

The recent Veney case was another cop-killer being released on the weekends to go home, while youthful rock-throwers go to prison.

Then there is the Thanos mockery. Surely the judicial, legal and parole systems have gone mad. They want to take away our guns and then loose murderers and cop-killers back on the streets to prey upon the defenseless citizenry again and again.

Anyone or any group helping these murderers to murder again should be liable for their actions, as having aided and abetted the enemy. What we need is criminal control, period.

Richard C. Fleig Sr.

Pasadena

Abuse of power

I find the latest situation with the president's staff typical of the real problem that the average American sees in government.

Here is a person, William Kennedy III, who apparently lives high on the razorback, has other people employed as servants, and yet is unable to live up to his responsibilities as an individual.

It is not that he broke the law; it is his arrogance and disdain in ignoring a moral code in a country which provides unlimited freedoms. These people know they are not playing by the rules, but they can't be bothered because it interferes with their lifestyle. They have never heard of the Golden Rule.

Many of these FOBs (friends of Bill) apparently grew up in an atmosphere of greed and irresponsibility. Now as they come into the important years of their lives they are unable to cope with right and wrong. And because of their upbringing they cannot follow a path of honesty and truth. In their eyes they are the truth.

This is the main weakness of our democratic society. While the populace has less and less interest in participating in politics, people in power continue to abuse their position.

Any time that politicians, movie and rock stars, TV anchor people, athletes, etc. dominate a nation's attention, things certainly have gotten out of hand.

R. D. Bush

Columbia

Pot bust

Whew! What a relief. That was my reaction upon reading The Sun March 31, which revealed that lobbyist Ira C. Cooke, along with his 25 joints worth of marijuana, had been taken into custody and was no longer a threat to society.

It's a comfort to know, as I spend a quiet evening at home with a glass of good scotch at my side and a fresh pack of Marlboros at the ready, that these nasty druggies are being hunted down like the scum that they are.

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