Schools violate rights of students with IEPsAs a retired...

Letters

September 25, 1997

Schools violate rights of students with IEPs

As a retired Baltimore County teacher, I can understand Ed Reed Jr.'s frustration over his son's problems with ''whole language'' (letter, Sept. 12).

However, I am even more concerned about county schools and individual teachers who are not adhering to students' individual educational plans. Over the last year I've acted as a ''parent advocate'' for a couple of students with IEPs and am appalled at their treatment.

Schools and teachers who don't make up speech, reading and counseling classes prescribed by an IEP are in violation of federal law. Teachers who tell dysgraphic children they are ''lazy'' because they can't copy board work fast enough are violating the students' rights. Schools and teachers who do not provide the special aids (drill and homework dittos, word processors and sometimes an adult aide, etc.) necessary to fulfill n IEP are also in violation of federal law.

It is high time that the parents of all students with IEPs in Baltimore County schools band together, meet, form a coalition for the good of their children and contact the Maryland Disabilities Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union about filing a class action suit against the school system. This is the only action that has worked for the betterment of city students with IEPs.

Beverly Lapinski

Timonium

Mark city's birthday by reviving its song

As part of our worship celebration at Grace United Methodist Church on Sept. 14, we recognized both the 200th anniversary of Baltimore's incorporation as a city and the 183rd anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore, during part of which Francis Scott Key penned the words of what eventually became our national anthem.

Of course, we sang all four verses of that song, but what was even more impressive was the four-verse rendition of Folger McKinsey and Emma Hemberger's ''Baltimore, Our Baltimore'' (1916), seldom heard these days but sung with patriotic gusto by the Grace congregation.

In school, Baltimoreans of past generations learned this spirited, beautifully harmonized tune with its words reflecting the city's history and visions. I hope that the current generation is doing the same, especially in this year of the city's bicentennial celebration.

Maybe that current generation (or others) might even like to try its hand at adding another verse, reflecting more recent Baltimore history.

Ann Weller Dahl

Baltimore

A list of falsehoods about race track

For months I have read letters to the editor about the proposed auto-racing track in the east end of Baltimore County. The latest letter from Sharon Browning of Hanover is so full of fabrications I have to answer.

She says the track site is on Eastern Avenue. False: The track is to be located one-half mile from the intersection of Bird River Road and Ebenezer Road.

She says the area is falling down, with vacant buildings and condemned apartments. False: Eastern Avenue is neat and well kept with good business; the only blight is Riverdale Apartments.

She says these apartments are vacant because people cannot pay rent. False: These people were removed due to the poor conditions caused by a landlord who took their money and never did anything to repair the buildings or pay the electric bill.

She says the track will bring 2,000 jobs. False: It's now around 200 and moving lower.

She goes on to say only a handful of complaining old people oppose the track. False: She'd better look around the surrounding areas as every day more and more lawn signs are going up saying ''No Race Track.''

I believe she should stop going to all those auto races; too much carbon monoxide does strange things to you.

Karen D. Pritchett

Baltimore

Why was this information relevant?

I am extremely curious as to why, in the article ''3 Va. women accused in slaying roommate'' in the Sept. 17 ''National Digest'' section, it was relevant to mention that the women involved in the bludgeoning death of a roommate were lesbian.

I, like many other people, tend to be very interested in news which deals with death, especially those that do not occur naturally. I'm sure that this fascination is directly related in my vain attempt to understand people, what they do and why they do it. But I haven't been able to figure the exact significance of that tidbit of information's being included in that article.

Is the sexual orientation of those women so important that the information couldn't be left out? And if so, important to whom? And why? Is it somehow related to their tendency toward violence? Does it suggest a predisposition to criminal activity? Or is it just that in this ''hour of homophobia'' any and every action or word that is socially unacceptable, and can be connected to a homosexual or bi-sexual, is exploited by the right wing and the media?

Teddie M. Gwynn

Baltimore

Tax gasoline more to build, run transit

The price of gasoline in Baltimore (and the rest of the United States) is ridiculous. In Europe they pay about twice our price and about half of that is tax.

We should add 10 cents a gallon tax each quarter for the next year and a half and use the money to build and subsidize clean, efficient and cheap public transportation. And it should be built not only from suburbs to cities but also between our cities.

This would solve several of the problems I have been reading about: downtown parking, air pollution, the need for more and wider roads, cost of commuting, cost of buying the kid a car, etc.

Then instead of driving 30 or 40 miles from home to work, she or he would be able to drive a mile or two to a light rail station and arrive downtown or across town faster and cheaper and finished reading The Sun.

I know the higher price of gas would bring screams from all sorts of ''joy'' riders, but they could car-pool more or cut down on the booze.

Irving Garfinkle

Baltimore

Pub Date: 9/25/97

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