Parents can control teen-age drug useI am appalled that...


September 18, 1996

Parents can control teen-age drug use

I am appalled that parents of teen-agers believe that they do not have influence over their children not to experiment with drugs. If that is true, what is the purpose of parents?

Children learn their values from their parents, church, school and others. If this is true, then that answers why drug usage by teen agers has soared in the last four years.

Perhaps what we need to do is hold class on parents rather than teen-agers.

When I was commanding officer of the Marine Barracks in Washington, I had over 1,000 men and women under my command. One could buy any type of drug immediately outside of the gate.

Every trooper was told that drugs were dangerous and would not be tolerated. During 3 1/2 years, three troopers were tested positive for drugs and random drug tests were held monthly.

Since the turnover was rapid, there were about 3,000 Marines during that time. Don't tell me that adults can not have an impact and influence on juveniles.

Unlike other species, humans must teach their young what it is to be an adult.

If these parents are unwilling to be responsible for their young then they obviously do not understand what it is to be a loving and caring parent.

D.J. Myers


A message needs to go to President Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala as soon as possible: Forget spending $640 million on drug education.

I well remember the statement of my ninth grader after the drug unit had been completed in her freshman health class, ''Well, now I know how to use each different kind of drug and what kind of high each one can give.'' Such instruction is not the answer.

I agree with those who say that society and peer pressure greatly affect the actions of our teens. I believe this is acknowledgment of reality and not apathy, ambivalence or resignation.

Committed, compassionate, capable classroom teachers backed by loving, supportive parents are the answer.

Ms. Shalala should save her breath, our money and the waste of classroom time.

Cheryl Hoopes


Monroe's genius was ignored during his life

I was delighted as much as I was confounded by your decision to carry a story on the death of Bill Monroe on the front page of the Sun (Sept. 10). Delighted because for those of us involved in bluegrass music, which Bill Monroe invented and then defined, there was finally some recognition of this inconspicuous American musical treasure. In life his genius never seemed to warrant the attention that it merited in death.

It is ironic that not a single Baltimore area country music station programs a second of bluegrass on any day, a ubiquitous and myopic marketing strategy that makes many artists millions and offers others like Bill Monroe skillfully crafted death notices. If I had a dime for every time I had to explain to friends the music I have played and listened to over the past 45 years, I could have bought my own radio station and programmed it right.

Bill Monroe was a master, but also a creator. . . . When most of us were putting him over the hill, he'd write six new songs for a CD. His impact on country music matched and probably exceeded that of Charlie Parker on jazz.

George B. McCeney


Baltimore County needs more parks

Baltimore County has an option to purchase 241 acres for a park in Owings Mills. The price is $5.3 million. Some $3.3 million is alredy set aside for park land acquisition from a previous state grant and another $750,000 would be forthcoming in additional state monies. The real cost to Baltimore County is about $1.2 million, or just shy of $5,000 an acre. This is a great deal for Baltimore County citizens. . . .

A half century ago Baltimore County decided on a cost-effective strategy of using public school property both for physical education activities during school hours and public recreation after hours. This strategy saved the county countless dollars but has left today's citizens without adequate public facilities, particularly in highly populated areas. . . .

When you consider the very small percentage of our tax dollar that is set aside for parks and recreation you would be astounded and ashamed. Everyone is seemingly concerned with our youth loitering on street corners, hanging out in malls, getting involved with drugs and other mischief, but we don't give them acceptable alternatives. If we don't provide recreational facilities and programs for our youth, do we really think they will stay home and read a book? To make matters even worse, the growth of adult activities has competed with youth activities for the same scarce recreation resources.

Baltimore County has never acquired park property through condemnation. Once property is developed or sought out for other more profitable uses by the private sector, it is lost to the future for more sublime purposes. . . .

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