Closeted ViewsGeorge F. Will is one interesting writer...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 14, 1994

Closeted Views

George F. Will is one interesting writer. His March 31 Opinion * Commentary piece ridiculed Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders for saying that certain segments of American society want to "keep sexuality in the closet."

He then spent the remainder of his column proving her point by bashing Dr. Elders, gays, liberals, television sitcoms, talk show hosts and anyone else who has the audacity to reject his belief that sex is something dirty that shouldn't be talked about in polite society.

Mr. Will also suggests that Dr. Elders has somehow overstepped her proper role as the "nation's physician" in talking about sexual mores.

Behavioral scientists tell us there is a direct link between healthy (yes, unrepressed) sexual attitude and one's physical and mental well-being, so the good doctor would be derelict in her duties -- as many surgeons general under previous administrations have been -- if she simply chose to ignore the issue of sexual diversity.

The truth is Mr. Will just doesn't like gay people, as he's demonstrated in several previous columns.

By the way, Mr. Will should be advised that The Advocate is not "a magazine for homosexuals." It is a magazine about gay and lesbian issues for anyone who, believing in the worth of all human beings, wants to become enlightened on those issues . . .

James R. Moody

Catonsville

Man's Best Friend

Anyone who purchases a dog takes on the same responsibilities as a parent with a child. You must feed it, care for it and control it.

If your dog is unleashed and attacks an adult, a child or another pet, you are liable.

If your dog barks all night and disturbs people around you, you are responsible. A barking dog is disturbing the peace, which is a violation of the law.

Dogs are like children that never grow up. They must be trained to know what is right and wrong.

You must be considerate and responsible to the people around you. That is what makes a good neighbor.

Joseph Evinrude

Baltimore

Wrong Message

Regarding the MTA buses. I am a ninth grade student at Western High School, and with the majority of students, take advantage of the student transportation service provided. I am grateful for this service, as are my parents and many others.

However, I have noticed an increase in the number of alcohol and tobacco products advertised on the bus interiors and exteriors.

I am aware that a great deal of income for the MTA comes from these endorsements, but that is no reason to expose young, easily-influenced people to negative influences.

I'm sad to report that many of my peers do smoke and/or drink on a regular basis. I am also sad to report that there is hardly anything I can do to stop them.

I can, however, help prevent elementary and middle school students from getting involved in such unhealthy habits, by asking that these advertisements be stricken from buses that transport students to school, if not all buses.

My request, I know, is radical. But if we want to keep children alive and well, it is a step we have to take.

Rachel Crumbacker

Baltimore

School Journalism

Thank you for printing Carrie Herschman's March 30 commentary on sexual correctness.

In an accompanying story, Linda R. Monks emphasized the importance of First Amendment rights for high school journalists. As a high school newspaper adviser at Dulaney High School, I applaud The Sun's willingness to publish examples of high school journalism, and I hope that your newspaper will advocate for press rights in the high schools.

The buzzwords in Baltimore County public schools are creativity, critical thinking and cooperative learning. High school journalism classes promote all three.

Students are taught to report and write balanced stories about their experiences inside and outside of school.

They are taught first-hand the value of careful research and the importance of journalistic standards in making decisions about what to publish. There is no better place for students to learn about the importance of freedom of expression in a democracy than within a journalism program with a committed adviser.

One point that Ms. Monks does not mention is the role that an independent high school newspaper can play in letting parents know what is going on inside their children's schools.

Parents of teen-agers frequently complain that their kids don't tell them what is happening in their lives. The school newspaper can give parents insight into issues and events that students care enough about to explore in depth.

A strong countywide journalism program committed to First Amendment rights could perform both of these functions: to educate students and their parents.

Kathleen Jones

Fallston

No Mercy

Maryland is faced with the possibility of exercising the death penalty for the first time in 32 years. On March 7, St. Mary's County Circuit Judge Marvin S. Kaminetz signed a death warrant calling for the execution of John Thanos during the week of April 25.

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