Why schools must impose disciplineI read with interest the...

the Forum

July 05, 1995

Why schools must impose discipline

I read with interest the letter June 27 by David Glazier, "Policy doesn't make sense to suspended teen." I can see why Baltimore County's discipline policy does not make sense to him.

First, Mr. Glazier left the school grounds to go home during the middle of the day to complete a homework assignment due the next period. Doesn't he realize homework is to be completed at home during non-school hours?

The assignment should have been completed at home the night before it was due. You do not take "time off" during the school day to complete homework.

Second, when he is in school, his safety is the responsibility of the school he attends and the Baltimore County Board of Education. By leaving the school grounds during the school day without permission, he was not allowing the school system to fulfill its obligation.

I am sure if Mr. Glazier was injured during his "time off," the school board would have been questioned by the media, not to mention legal action.

Third, Mr. Glazier talks about his activities on the day he was suspended. He stated a more appropriate punishment would have been detention during non-school hours.

It is obvious he did not take his suspension too seriously, because he felt his offense was not serious enough to warrant it. Therefore, what makes you think he would take detention seriously?

He should not have been given the opportunity to make up the work he missed. He should not have received credit for the work he missed and the homework assignment he went home to do. That action would not have been fair to the students who completed the work when they were supposed to do it.

I found it ironic this letter appeared the same day as an article concerning a report on violent behavior in Baltimore County public schools. The report gave recommendations for ensuring student safety.

Mr. Glazier stated that "removing students from situations that may be dangerous makes sense." He needs to realize he placed himself in a dangerous situation by his actions, and therefore, needed an appropriate reprimand. The school took this action to ensure Mr. Glazier's safety in the future.

Carolyn Dickerson

Abingdon

The end of local programming on WJHU

The headline on Laura Lippman's story said it well: On June 23, classical music died on WJHU. I feel much of the station's character was assassinated.

Daytime classical music on weekdays was eliminated, and Sunday classical music lost its best show, Ray Sprenkle's "On Music."

What the article did not mention was that, in one fell swoop, WJHU listeners lost virtually every bit of locally produced programming with the exception of Marc Steiner's interesting show and Andy Bienstock's excellent jazz coverage.

This is just the culmination of a trend that started several years ago. Back then, WJHU was a station with a very strong identity.

It pioneered the two-week "quiet drive" twice a year, spending no more than a few minutes per hour to appeal for listener memberships and never interrupting news shows to do so.

It produced two shows relayed nationwide, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra broadcast, and Soundprint, an award-winning radio documentary that has become an example for National Public Radio.

On the news side, it relayed brief BBC news on weekend afternoons at 4, a welcome complement to the newscasts produced by NPR.

In the last three years, we have lost the production of the BSO broadcast to WETA, and that of Soundprint to WAMU (both in D.C.). The BBC news simply disappeared (the hour show from 5 to 6 weekday mornings is highly repetitive, no equivalent).

And the quiet drive was exchanged for the more lucrative but infinitely more obnoxious nagging and hostage-taking that public broadcasters call "fund-raising."

To be sure (Ray Sprenkle's phrase, now sadly missed), there has been some benefit in exchange: in particular the Marc Steiner show, produced four evenings a week and covering topics often transcending local interests.

Yet when "All Things Considered" went to a two-hour format, the half hour was tacked on at the expense of Marc's show.

So what did we just get in addition? An extra hour of "Morning Edition" rebroadcast, bringing NPR news from Washington up to six hours; a one-hour midday show of Monitor Radio from Boston (rebroadcast two hours later); another full hour of BBC news and two syndicated two-hour talk shows, from Washington and Philadelphia.

All these could already be heard in Baltimore on WAMU or WETA. It turns out WJHU has not just killed the classical music. It has all but eliminated what made it unique, and will from now on be a mere NPR clone, a duplicate of the two Washington stations, lacking some of their originality.

What to think of the argument that WBJC's classical music has a greater audience? I subscribe to both stations. Yet at least three times out of four, Bill Spencer's and Lisa Simeone's music choices were more appealing to me (less mainstream) that those on WBJC.

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