Infuriating photograph of admonished childWhile it is nice...

Letters

March 16, 1997

Infuriating photograph of admonished child

While it is nice to see the police involved with citizens, your picture and caption on the front page of The Sun's Maryland section March 11 were infuriating.

The picture shows a policeman lecturing 4-year-old Christopher King about wandering away from home while the mother and another policeman look on. The child stands alone with no support from anyone. Shouldn't the mother be the person receiving the lecture?

Yes, 4-year-olds must be taught responsibility, but mothers (or designated responsible adults) need to watch their children.

A 4-year-old still needs love, support and someone to watch him, not three adults standing over him after the ''crime'' has been committed.

Edgar W. Bridges

Randallstown

Health care reform hurts more than helps

Judging by the number of health care bills in Annapolis, the lTC effects of health care reform have reached the general public.

HMOs have elevated the denial of health care to an art form. Rationing of necessary health care is the rule rather than the exception.

The purported reason is cost reduction. But has the public benefited from this cost reduction? Has the delivery of health care improved or is there better preventive medicine?

Are the savings resulting in decreased health insurance premiums? Have the underinsured or the medical schools been helped?

The essence of health care reform has nothing to do with the delivery of health care but rather the massive diversion of money from patient care to obscene bonuses for health plan executives and dividends to venture capitalists, investors and other manipulators.

For a healthy person who requires only routine care, any plan is sufficient. But if a person has a serious illness, such as the man with esophageal cancer who has to fight for the approval of every test and treatment, the value of health insurance becomes more obvious.

Managed care companies have excused themselves of their responsibilities and introduced the concept of "risk sharing." Unfortunately, the patient shares the ultimate risk.

Until insurance companies are removed from the health care equation, Dr. Kevorkian may be the ultimate managed care consultant.

Karl W. Diehn

Baltimore

Volunteers can improve schools

The debate about reforming Baltimore City public schools reminds me of the classic study in industrial psychology that gave rise to the term, the Hawthorn Effect.

If I recall correctly, the experiment went something like this: Management painted the walls of a factory red, and production went up. No one could explain why. They painted the walls blue, and production went up again. It turned out to have nothing to do with the color. Workers were happier and more productive when someone paid attention to them.

It is clear to me that many school children suffer from attention deficit; they are not getting the adult attention they desperately need.

For economic reasons, they are frequently dropped off at school early, picked up late, then set in front of a television set while a tired single parent desperately struggles to make ends meet.

At school, these children will do anything to get what they crave. The quiet child will be praised and passed on to the next grade, regardless of any learning which may take place.

The disruptive child gets lots of attention and is ultimately referred to special ed, where class sizes are smaller and the teacher's attention is shared with fewer children.

Is it any wonder that the number of disruptive children has increased to the point that, in many classrooms, effective instruction is impossible?

I recognize that reducing class size -- increasing the attention an individual child can receive -- is extremely expensive. What we can do, however, is to bring other adults into our schools.

Welcome the retired, the elderly, the unemployed or under-employed into our classrooms on a daily basis.

Show our children that we care, not necessarily with more of our dollars, but with something infinitely more valuable and ultimately much more effective, our time.

Jonathan Inskeep

Crofton

The writer is a Baltimore City school teacher.

Baltimore County raceway beneficial

The Motor Sports Raceway Task Force Study supports the development of the most exciting competitive sports complex ever proposed for Baltimore County and the state of Maryland.

Auto racing is becoming a major sport in the United States, and it would be tragic if we were to be left behind.

Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger should seek aid from Gov. Parris Glendening and our state legislature to fully support this enterprise.

Auto racing is a magnificent sport that young people, middle-age people and older people can thoroughly enjoy without spending a great deal of money.

It certainly is much more enjoyable than playing slot machines.

Walter Boyd

Lutherville

Pub Date: 3/16/97

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