Children should be taught early to be tolerantHave...

LETTERS

March 01, 1998

Children should be taught early to be tolerant

Have politeness and tolerance become lost arts?

I was talking to somebody about not being able to smoke in the bars in California, and he told me that bartenders will tell patrons that they are not supposed to smoke, and when the patron lights up a cigarette, the bartender will hand him or her an ashtray.

That's what you call forced politeness.

I can see the idea of nonsmoking and smoking sections in restaurants and separate ventilation systems, but not being able to smoke is too much.

Tolerance means being able to handle what somebody else is doing as long as it doesn't infringe on your health or well-being. That is something else that should be taught in the home, beginning at an early age.

Is it hard to teach a child to be polite and tolerant? No.

John W. Hamilton III

Columbia

Schools inconsistent in disciplining

My experience as a substitute teacher has persuaded me that Howard County schools have inconsistent discipline policies that do not teach children to respect rules or authority.

Consistent discipline teaches children to listen when other people are talking; to value their own work and what they do; to respect and care about other people; to realize that their behavior affects others; and to recognize that poor grades and misbehavior are their responsibility and can be changed.

Too many adults do not understand the importance of consistent discipline in children's development. Fortunately, Howard County schools have two administrators who do.

Roger Plunkett and Stephen Wallis have been honored by the PTA for their concern and commitment to students and to education.

Mr. Plunkett won the PTA State Educator of the Year Award for his effective and innovative policies as principal of Wilde Lake High School.

Mr. Wallis, an assistant principal at Howard High, won a Lifetime Membership Award from the national PTA for his work with disruptive students and their parents.

Children who get into trouble need people who care about them and are unwilling to accept bad behavior. Howard County schools need more caring and sensitive administrators to provide consistent discipline to help students succeed and make schools safer.

Laura Waters

Columbia

McCabe vote on Young showed courage

At best, David Hantman's letter, "Howard Co. Sen. McCabe, Glendening should explain their positions on Young" (Jan. 25), criticizing Sen. Christopher J. McCabe's vote against expelling Larry Young from the Maryland Senate was simplistic political reasoning.

At its worst, his letter represents a cheap political shot and an attempt to smear Mr. McCabe.

I suspect that my fellow Democrats were anxious to sweep this matter under the rug and to move on with the 1998 session of the General Assembly. But in their rush to judgment, they may have compromised Mr. Young's right to due process and a fair trial.

Egged on by the feeding frenzy of the local media, which reported the accumulated evidence, the Senate threw Mr. Young out the door, along with the Constitution.

Mr. McCabe's vote was not "misguided." It may very well be a profile in courage to keep your head about you when those all around you are losing theirs.

His concern for the basic tenets of our judicial system is to be admired. He voted with his head and not with an eye toward political expediency.

T. Wayne Kirwan

Ellicott City

Educate pedestrians about narrow roads

I read the Jan. 24 article about the adoption of a policy of narrow roads to reduce speeding in communities ("Howard seeks narrow roads").

My first reaction is that we need a high-intensity education program. Our community has a high percentage of residents who walk or run on community roads every day.

Very narrow roads would be an added threat and safety problem for residents of a community with parking on the street and no sidewalks.

James M. Holway

Ellicott City

Md. is leading way on organic farming

The Sun reported Jan. 18 that organic farming is the "fastest growing segment of agriculture," and that for the first time, an organic farmer was appointed to the state Agriculture Commission.

This appointment was made possible by legislation introduced by Baltimore County Democratic Del. Dan K. Morhaim and Frederick County Republican Del. Paul S. Stull, who recognized that organic farming was good for our health and the economy.

As more consumers want food free of pesticides, it becomes apparent that Maryland could be the organic food-growing center of the East Coast.

I'm glad our state has had the foresight to recognize the importance of this long-overlooked agricultural market.

Robin Hessey

Ellicott City

Farms not appropriate for offenders

I would like to respond to the Our House Youth Home program, whose participants you refer to as "teens," "teen-age charges," "youths," "salvageable youth," "juveniles" and "16- to 19-year-olds."

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