St. Paul's official rightly expressed tolerance of gaysAs...


March 06, 1998

St. Paul's official rightly expressed tolerance of gays

As heads of schools, we are writing in support of Headmistress Evelyn A. Flory's commitment to making St. Paul's School for Girls a place where all people can feel safe from discrimination, as all of us seek to do on our own campuses ("Stance on gays provokes parents," Feb. 21).

Statistics show that gay male and lesbian high school students are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual young people, and more than one-third of these students have been victims of physical and verbal assault in school because of their sexual orientation.

We must do all we can to provide a safe and nurturing environment where all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, feel cared for, supported and educated without fear of intolerance, violence or discrimination.

Rebecca MacMillan Fox

Bryn Mawr School

W. Byron Forbush

Friends School

G. Peter O'Neill Jr.

Garrison Forest School

Kathleen Jameson

Oldfields School

David E. Jackson

Park School

Jean Waller Brune

Roland Park Country School

William J. Creeden

Severn School

No statehood for Puerto Rico

Linda Chavez is right on target in her Feb. 26 commentary, "Why Puerto Rico should not be a state."

I have been married to a Latin woman for 35 years. I speak some Spanish, love the Latin culture and have friends who are Puerto Rican. I also have done business in Puerto Rico.

We should do all we can to discourage this crazy idea from gaining momentum. Why create a Quebec situation for this country?

Bill Voss


Excellent solution for hungry pupils

As Sara Engram accurately stated in her Feb. 22 column, "Eating your Wheaties really does pay off," we have not fully used the federally funded free or reduced-price breakfast program for qualified schoolchildren.

The practical, inexpensive and successful program of all children eating together in their classrooms sounds excellent. According to those who have tried it, the burden it imposes on teachers is outweighed by the improvement in classroom behavior.

The emotional and social benefits, in addition to nutritional ones, promote an atmosphere of caring and an opportunity for students to practice civil and helpful behavior.

The Abell Foundation and Shirley Kane are to be congratulated and encouraged to replicate this important and successful program.

Harriet Bank


Few lawyers are unscrupulous

In the series "Lawyers on trial" (Feb. 22 and 23), the question "How many of Maryland's lawyers break the law or violate their ethics code?" was asked but not answered. The answer is very few.

The legal profession polices its members because it wants unscrupulous attorneys removed. It takes attorney violations and attorney discipline very seriously. Not only do unethical attorneys hurt their clients and the public, they hurt the legal profession and make all attorneys look bad.

As you pointed out, the Court of Appeals of Maryland's Rules Committee has been examining the attorney-discipline process for five years. The Maryland State Bar Association supports this effort and hopes the court is able to recommend ways to speed up and improve the attorney grievance process in Maryland.

It will benefit the public, clients and the overwhelming majority of attorneys who are true professionals.

Janet Stidman Eveleth


The writer is director of communications for the Maryland State Bar Association.

Parent & Child should become booklet

The Sun deserves praise for the daily Parent & Child reading activity. Many friends have used my copy of the Today section.

Your offer of a discounted subscription is an admirable way to promote this series -- and this way, I can keep my copy.

I hope you will gather the entire Parent & Child reading series into a booklet.

Alex P. Gross

Owings Mills

Health insurance and contraception

It is time for health insurers to stop regarding contraception as optional health care.

Two-thirds of U.S. women of childbearing age rely on private-sector, employment-related health insurance to pay their medical expenses. Almost all plans cover oral contraceptives. Only 15 percent cover all the reversible methods of contraception, and only about half cover any of these methods.

This is one reason nearly 60 percent of pregnancies in the United States each year are unintended, resulting in 1.6 million abortions and 1.5 million births that were unwanted at all or at the time. Neither result is a happy one.

Almost half the unintended pregnancies result from contraceptive failure, misuse or inconsistent use. A wide choice of methods would minimize these problems.

In purely monetary terms, refusal to cover contraception is penny wise and pound foolish, because the Health Insurance Association of America says the cost is only $16 per employee per year. This does not count the savings in unwanted pregnancies (a birth with no complications costs about $6,500).

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