Hyde School: character comes firstBaltimore City School...

the Forum

May 25, 1994

Hyde School: character comes first

Baltimore City School Superintendent Walter Amprey deserves our admiration for the courage and vision he is displaying regarding Patterson High School.

By taking the bold and enlightened step of bringing in the Hyde Foundation, Dr. Amprey will be breaking away from an educational system that has failed our children.

As ex-Hyde parents, we can testify to the magnificent effectiveness of the Hyde approach.

We will also tell you that the Hyde experience was crucial to the development of the strength of our family as a whole.

Hyde Foundation's entire philosophy rests on the knowledge gained through more than 30 years of experience at Hyde School: If you develop the character first, the academics will follow. Persons of integrity just naturally want to go after the best that is within them.

This may seem obvious when one thinks about it. The hard part, after gaining this insight, is having the courage to pursue the path that character development demands. It demands a commitment and an honesty on the part of teachers, administrators, parents, and children that we are not in the habit of expecting.

Bringing in the Hyde Foundation will mean that teachers, administrators, parents and children must all embrace a radical change.

In our experience with Hyde, we have learned that the children are the first to be willing to accept this and make the necessary commitment to their own future growth. They know when they are being cheated by a poor educational system.

We adults will have the hardest job. We will have to put aside our egos, our turf battles and the comfort of doing things the old way.

It takes courage to make such a change. It won't be easy, but if we truly care about our children, we must do it. We must do it now.

Kit and Glenn Brown

Bel Air

Drug costs

I just added up my prescription drug bills for last year and was stunned at the total.

When I compared how much I spent last year with how much the year before, I was even more shocked. Prescription prices just keep going up.

Prescription drugs are a major health care expense for older adults in town, city, state and across the country.

But many insurance plans, including Medicare, don't pay for them. Medicare covers only drugs prescribed when the patient is in the hospital.

This type of coverage is very important for Americans of all ages who have chronic health problems such as diabetes.

Fortunately, we have the opportunity to do something about it. We can tell our members of Congress that health care reform must include coverage for prescription drugs for everyone.

Erwin Karber

Baltimore

Shooting history

Recently passed gun control laws by the Maryland legislature have shot down "living history" programs in the public schools systems throughout the state.

The legislative frenzy and haste to ban "the guns used in drug dealings, robberies and drive-by shooting" has also banned as teaching aids from the class room the historic weapons of the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Normally at this time each year we re-enactors and living history people are presenting dozens of programs in public schools throughout the state.

The present state law could make us all criminals, with the possibility of a $1,000 fine and a jail sentence of three years for merely taking our Revolutionary War flint-lock muskets and our Civil War percussion muskets to our lectures.

Some of us are still willing to face the risk of arrest if the school principal gives us a letter. When the principal attempts to clear it with the local police, the police inevitably issue the following statement: "Even though the weapons are historic, they are still illegal."

No principal would ever risk issuing a letter without police approval, hence no letter is ever sent.

In the recent session of the Maryland legislature, Del. Kevin Kelly, D-Allegany, sponsored a bill that would have "made exceptions for historians and re-enactors to take weapons on school property to be used as props in educational programs." The bill overwhelmingly passed the House, but fell victim to political maneuvering in the Senate and died.

With the death of Delegate Kelly's bill and the feelings over gun control running at such feverish levels in Annapolis these days, it is doubtful that there will ever be an amendment to the present law, however worthwhile.

As a result, the "living history" programs in the public schools will be dead, the first innocent victim of the new gun laws in Maryland.

Robert E. Lyons

Baltimore

Social Security

The Social Security program is constantly being scrutinized for cuts in benefits for the purpose of increasing other government programs.

It has reached the stage where future beneficiaries have become concerned that the program must eventually collapse for the lack of funds.

Safeguards must be established now to guarantee its future existence. Social Security should be considered a form of insurance.

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