Restraining child right thing to doI had been living under...


June 13, 1996

Restraining child right thing to do

I had been living under the notion that newspapers print impartial articles, but I learned this was an unfortunate misconception as I read the June 11 article ''Child, 6, cuffed for his own safety?"

First, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is not a medical illness, but a genetically induced medical disorder. Often ADHD is combined with oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, obsessive/compulsive disorder and other neuro-biological disorders. ADHD children who are properly medicated should not exhibit the radically aggressive behavior that this child does. Proper medication blood levels, combined with psychological and/or psychiatric therapy, must be maintained to provide maximum effectiveness, including behavior modification.

Second, the Baltimore County police officer who restrained the child acted in an appropriate manner for dealing with an out-of-control individual. Whether adult or child, a subject displaying violent conduct is a danger, both to himself or herself and others. Had I, an experienced paramedic, been called in for this situation, my treatment of Jerrell Murray would have been the same; he would have been restrained and transported to the hospital. It makes no difference whether the child is male or female, black, white, yellow, purple or green.

Perhaps the divorced parents and grandmother should consider counseling that is available for caretakers of children with ADHD. There are many county resources available to them.

The questioning of the Baltimore County education system by school board member Robert Dashiell was inappropriate, given there was no background information provided as to why Jerrell is in Woodmoor Elementary School. There are schools within the county that are specially designed for dealing with ADHD children such as Jerrell.

As for the child's reported comments regarding guns, shooting the police and being taken to jail -- which he was not -- conceivably he overheard these remarks being made by someone else. Six-year-old children do mimic others.

eborah L. Lamb

Sykesville TC

Horton cat killing no cause for promotion

What possible reason could The Sun have in wasting two full pages on the excerpt from Tom Horton's new book of his so-called memoirs of living on Smith Island?

What socially redeeming value is held by retelling the story of the round-up of stray cats for, as he puts it, ''the gas chamber?''

Although his son's pathetic plight was indeed unfortunate, the answer, which Mr. Horton forgot, was to prevent the cats from entering the classroom in the first place. This is what he, and others, could have accomplished, without the sacrifice of life.

But instead he decided to do it his way, and later brag about it in his book, by baiting the animals and sending them to their deaths.

To hear his bravado about the incident, ever so slightly disguised with feelings of compassion, is highly insulting and should not be tolerated by the book-buying public.

One must only think that had Nazi Germany's plan to use ''gas chambers'' for the ''vermin'' been successful, our history books would read much like Mr. Horton's worthless book.

I call for boycott on the sale of Mr. Horton's book, and for The Sun to print stories of humane animal treatment in the future.

Howard B. Hoffman

Owings Mills

Beltway missing a needed sign

There are many helpful signs along the Baltimore Beltway.

Signs alert us to intersecting roads, streets and avenues. Signs direct us to hospitals and schools, even to historic mansions. But a vital sign is missing on the stretch between I-83 South and, roughly, the Park Heights Avenue exit.

L It should say: : ''Not to worry -- Your transmission is OK."

Regular drivers on I-695 have long since become accustomed to the sudden scream from below when their tires first land on that re-grooved section.

Odds are strong, however, that thousands of drivers heading west to Pittsburgh or east to New York suffer panic attacks at what sounds like what happens when transmission fluid has gone bye-bye.

H. Robert Heid


Taxing nonprofits would hurt city

The developing drumbeat for taxing nonprofit groups operating in Baltimore, manifested most recently in a May 26 letter ("Baltimore as a business is in trouble"), evinces a disturbing lack of understanding and appreciation of the contributions such groups make to the quality of life in Baltimore.

Without the comprehensive network of social health care and educational service provided to city residents by religious and .. other nonprofit organizations, Baltimore undoubtedly would face a more desperate situation, both fiscally and socially, than is presently imaginable.

Consider, for example, the services in Baltimore operated by Catholic Charities, which include emergency and transitional homeless shelters, a soup kitchen and food pantry, sheltered housing programs for the frail elderly and programs assisting adult and child AIDS patients.

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