Not all parents pining for all-day kindergartenI was...

LETTERS

June 30, 1996

Not all parents pining for all-day kindergarten

I was disappointed when reading your article regarding all-day kindergarten in the June 16 edition of The Sun for Howard County. Your report implied that Howard countians are in disbelief that we are behind the times and that everyone is in favor of this plan, holding their breath until Howard County offers all-day kindergarten.

I am one parent who is not in favor of all-day kindergarten, virtually pushing our young children out the door as soon as possible. Do you realize that Maryland law regarding school enrollment says if a child is 5 years old by Dec. 31, he or she must be enrolled in kindergarten? This means 4-year-olds are expected to start school. Thus, your article supports 4-year-olds attending school 6 1/2 hours per day, five days a week and implies every citizen in Howard County cannot wait for this.

Schools should not be day care institutions. It is not the state's responsibility to raise the children we have brought into the world. I am a stay-at-home mom and I do not feel I should be negatively impacted for taking the responsibility of raising my children.

I actually had to petition the school board for an exemption to keep my 4-year-old home with me. Full-time day care was an automatic exemption of enrollment into kindergarten. This implies that day care can do more for my pre-schooler than I can.

What does that say about our society?

The article quotes Melissa Miller who says the kids are ready. Why is she qualified to be quoted? Also, Sharon Crawford stating that the kids are already in full-day pre-school. My children are in half-day pre-school two mornings a week at age three and three mornings a week at age four. The same goes for many friends and people in my community.

My biggest concern regarding your article is that readers, with and without children, may see this option as the only choice -- to find our children some kind of care other than ourselves, as quickly as possible. I recognize family situations where there is no other choice, but I feel our country needs to show more concern toward who is raising our children with socially moral and correct behavior. There are two sides to every story and this story is no exception.

Jill Huber

Highland

Porn in the military is not an issue

In an editorial on pornography and the armed forces (May 29) The Sun takes on Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-6th.

The paper mentions that these hot-selling magazines constitute one-fifth of the periodicals sold at military facilities. Of course, no mention is made of the matter of gender in reference to the magazines. Does this include "boylie" publications for the young ladies who now comprise a growing number of our military?

With an all-volunteer armed forces I would have thought that the number of these types of periodicals would be on the decline.

The Sun states that these questionable periodicals are not "legally obscene." When was the last time anything carried that label?

The Sun claims that "military personnel are adults capable of choosing what they want to read or view." Apparently they are not adults when it comes to drinking unless they have some ID which sets their age over 20.

The Sun concedes that short people should be inhibited from buying these magazines by placing them on higher shelves, and also that covers should not be visible because some immature people may see them.

Finally, The Sun says these materials should never be used for "sexual harassment or embarrassment of personnel. Standards of conduct and respect apply to the military as well as in the civilian workplace." How could anyone draw the conclusion that girlie magazines could ever be categorized as demeaning or out-of-line, at least as long as both sides are represented? It is a good thing that the movie "Stalag 17," which shows men dancing with men and pictures of Betty Grable, came out when it did.

4( Let The Sun get back to real issues.

D. Bush

Columbia

Openness in Columbia; more talk of incorporation

Open Sesame! Who can forget the story of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves in the "Arabian Nights"? When will the Columbia Association realize the value of opening its doors?

Open, says CA. We are open, says the chair of the Columbia Council. But the same week, the council holds a meeting to decide two questions. First, should the council's organizational meeting be open to the public? Second, should the council's annual retreat be held elsewhere or should it be held in Columbia, where residents can attend?

Several months ago, the council considered another question of openness. Should a member of the council have to get approval of the whole council before asking for information from outside sources? When the proposal raised a ruckus, the council had to drop the idea.

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