Blame the lawyers, administrators, judge for special-ed...

Letters to the Editor

October 18, 1998

Blame the lawyers, administrators, judge for special-ed lawsuit

In the article "Judge insists pact set specifics" (Oct. 10), U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis lambastes school system administrators and plaintiff lawyers for "devious," "outrageous" and "ugly" conduct while trying to settle the city school lawsuit.

I believe those two parties are guilty of all that and more. If they had the children's best interests as their primary goal, why hasn't this issue been resolved? Who benefited from dragging this out? Whose egos became the issue?

The lawyers and administrators.

For that matter, what about some blame for Judge Garbis? How would you classify his allowing something like the Office for Compliance Awards? Parents whose children's futures were jeopardized and destroyed were bought off with computers they couldn't operate, TVs they didn't need and other goods.

"Devious," "outrageous," "ugly"? What comes to mind is petty, ineffective and clueless. I am sick at heart that a group of supposed adults thinks so little of the children they were charged to protect. To quote another person I hold responsible because of his role at the very beginning, "Do it now."

Richard P. Doran

Baltimore

Too few seem to care when history is destroyed

I commend Todd Richissin for bringing the tragedy of the Hendrickson house to our attention ("History goes up in flames," Oct. 8). I find it difficult to believe that none of the perpetrators of the burning thought to question the wisdom of destroying such a historic property.

Perhaps this is a failure of our "enlightened" education system, where following orders may receive higher praise than thinking for one's self. I wish I knew.

It just seems that, all too often, the value of history to the public gives way to the economic interests of individuals or corporations, as was the case with the Samuel Owings House and the others mentioned in Mr. Richissin's article.

What is even more disturbing is my perception that most people don't care about such destruction. Historic properties cannot be replaced. Where is the public outcry when one is? Again, I believe this is a failure of our education system.

W. Brad Schlegel

Baltimore

Remedy for election apathy is to get children voting by 9

Mike Adams' Perspective article "Is it democracy if too few vote?" (Oct. 11) laments that most people don't vote. People learn behaviors, including participation in democracy, at an early age. That's why Kids Voting is such a great program.

Kids Voting gets children involved in the election process. In the weeks leading up to an election, students learn about the electoral process through hands-on activities, and they learn about voter registration in their classroom. Parents are drawn in through family discussion and debate at home. On Election Day, children and parents go to the polls together.

A Kids Voting booth is set up in every voting precinct and is staffed by community and parent volunteers. While their parents are voting, kids vote, too.

In the November 1996 election, 35,000 Baltimore County school students voted through Kids Voting. Their ballots were tabulated and announced in news reports. Kids Voting worked; even adult voter turnout in Baltimore County increased.

Regrettably, because of a lack of funds and support from the business community, Kids Voting is defunct in Baltimore County. Although the program was seeded through generous support from Baltimore Gas and Electric, Bell Atlantic and a few other local businesses, it did not have enough support.

The Sun has wisely invested in Reading by 9. Kids Voting has children voting by 9.

We hope we can rally our business and community leaders to resurrect our voting booths. Maryland can teach its children that voting matters.

Mary Ellen Pease Scheeler

Towson

The writer was a member of the Kids Voting Baltimore County Steering Committee.

Vote Democrat to stop ultraconservatives

An Opinion Commentary column was headlined "Election is a referendum on Clinton" (Oct 10), but contained nothing to support that statement.

The election is anything but such a referendum, because neither political party condones the activities for which the president is now facing impeachment hearings, and a vote for a Democratic candidate cannot be construed as an endorsement of the Lewinsky-related actions.

It is patently and painfully clear which politicians and influence groups are creating long-term national detriments while in pursuit of short-term political gains. They have worked to bring down the president, regardless of the consequences because he was and is interfering with their ultraconservative agendas.

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