Misinformation About Schools' Family Life ProgramThe...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 20, 1994

Misinformation About Schools' Family Life Program

The purpose of this letter is to defend the integrity of a group of teachers in the Carroll County schools. . . . Some poll workers for Laura Albers, a candidate for Carroll County school board, made false statements regarding the content of the Health/Family Life curriculum.

These statements have the power to damage the credibility of both the program and the teaching staff and played on the emotions of the voters. Since this was done at the polls, voters did not have the opportunity to validate what was said and therefore, the process of making an informed decision was circumvented.

The full-time health education staff in Carroll County schools consists of 12 certified health educators with a combined total of 145 years of experience. The Family Life curriculum has been designed by qualified staff and all curriculum and instructional materials have undergone an extensive review and approval process that includes parents, teachers, community leaders, clergy and medical personnel.

This process assures that our program meets the demands and standards of our community. In addition, no child may take part in the Family Life curriculum unless a parent or guardian gives written permission. Having followed this very exacting process of approval, it was disturbing to hear allegations that in the Family Life classes condoms were being distributed and students were practicing how to use them by putting the condoms on bananas.

This is not being done in any Carroll County Health/Family Life classroom. It is vitally important that voters/parents contact the school system when there is a question about any curriculum or procedure.

Parents are encouraged to attend parent previews of Family Life materials that are provided each year so they may understand exactly what is being offered to their children.

It is the concern of the undersigned health teachers that voters heard the comments made by these workers and may have believed them to be true. When our precious children are closely involved we tend to vote with our hearts. How many votes were changed? We will never know. Candidates who allow poll workers to disseminate information must take the responsibility for that information and right any wrongs committed by their workers. Failure to do that puts the credibility of the candidate at risk. . . . We will not be passive victims of false and unwarranted attacks in any form. To do less would cast doubt on our own integrity.

Diana Steppling

Woodbine

This letter was signed by 12 members of the high school and middle school health departments in the Carroll County Public Schools.

Clear Message?

Your editorial, "Democratic Desert" (Nov. 10), concluded that, "Carroll County voters articulated a clear message" to elected representatives to deal with uncontrolled growth. This was not accurate in either Senate race.

In District 4, Tim Ferguson had a simple, clear campaign strategy. Vote conservative Republican: Sauerbrey and Ferguson. He did not run on any growth issues and he certainly didn't show any initiatives in that regard.

In District 5, the voters re-elected a Realtor, Sen. Larry Haines. Obviously, to everyone except your editorial staff, he was not elected to control growth. No one expects him to do anything that would harm his business interests. Cynthia Cummings, his opponent, stressed the need to control growth and lost the election. Uncontrolled growth was not a significant issue in either

Senate race.

Dan Bridgewater

Westminster

Too Much Violence on TV

I am only a seventh-grader at Hereford Middle School and I agree that most television is violent.

I watch a lot of shows like Animaniacs, Tiny Toons and Taz. I know all of the violence is fake, but the smaller children don't understand that. I think there should only be some violence on TV, like dropping a ship or a train on someone. That would be impossible for a child to act out.

My brother watches "Power Rangers" and then imitates them. One day, we were sitting in the car and my brother started making sounds like a machine gun. My mom told him, "Don't shoot at people." He told her he wasn't. He doesn't understand that guns hurt people. . . . He got it from "Power Rangers" and other shows. "Power Rangers" also teaches teamwork and responsibility.

I think instead of violence, the shows should show children teamwork. The children would not fight as much. They could use what they learn from TV to be more responsible and more helpful.

Heather Long

Hampstead

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