Parents should be responsible for kids behavior I...

LETTERS

February 20, 2000

Parents should be responsible for kids behavior

I strongly disagree with the Feb. 9 editorial Enforce school drinking policy. The schools sole responsibility is to educate students. With that responsibility comes the right to regulate students conduct on school property and at school sponsored functions, consistent with the need to maintain safety and good order during the educational process. Beyond that, the school has no legitimate interest in the students other activities.

That educational process certainly may, and should, include instruction in Marylands laws and penalties for underage alcohol possession, and the health effects of drinking, but it is the responsibility of parents and, when necesssary, law enforcement officials to monitor and regulate student behavior away from school, and exact appropriate penalties when necessary.

If teenagers have access to alcoholic beverages at a party, those beverages were either illegally sold to and bought by a minor, or bought by an adult and illegally provided to minors. In either case, these are legal matters, not school matters, and questions of guilt, innocence and penalties, should be dealt with by the courts.

It seems absurd to extract a pledge from participants in sports, band, etc. to obey the law and follow school rules. This behavior should be expected of all students, and all students should be held to the same standards. Such a pledge amounts to an agreement to accept more severe punishment than another student who commits the same infracton.

Underage drinking is not the schools problem. It is a problem that the school cannot solve, and should not be expected to solve. The solution begins and ends with parents taking responsibility for their children s actions, and teaching their children to act responsibly.

Jeffry D. Mueller

Eldersburg

Voters need to consider whats really important

I have always found politics interesting but never felt passionate about any one issue that would compel me to run. That was before my daughter, who is a product of the public schools, was in the third grade and had a very difficult time reading very basic words. What was the problem? She appeared to be an average student.

We brought our concerns to school officials and made the decision to place her in special education classes but the problems continued until I took matters into my own hands, went to the library and utilized Hooked on Phonics. The dramatic change in eight weeks was astounding. Even the teachers commented about it.

I would ask all Carroll countians this question: Whats most important to you -- the positioning of a new school or working together on a curriculum that sees to it that our kids can read? There were over 500 citizens who attended the meetings concerning redistricting. There were no more than 40 citizens who attended any forum regarding the school board candidates. No matter where we place the new school, bricks and mortar never taught anyone.

When you vote on March 7, think about that.

John A. Ferrara

Westminster

The writer is a candidate for the Board of Education in Carroll County.

Candidates Nevin, Holt are uniquely qualifed

As a member of the Freedom Area Citizen Council, chair of its schools committee and a parent of two elementary school-aged children, I am writing to endorse two worthy candidates for the open position on the Carroll County Board of Education.

Susan Holt and Steven Nevin are, in my opinion, uniquely qualified to represent our childrens interests. As parents with children currently in the school system and long histories of involvement in school and community issues, both are familiar with the people, policies and procedures that connect the schools, the BOE and county government. They have earned the respect of county officials, current board members and fellow residents. Ms. Holt and Mr. Nevin both realize the commitment they are about to make and the demands on their time and other resources. Yet their past involvement in issues concerning our schools and communities proves that they are prepared to meet the challenge ahead. Both support a board that is proactive in addressing issues such as budget constraints, class size, technology updates in older schools and teacher concerns. They believe that the decisions effecting the education of our children should be based on common sense and realistic fiscal capabilities, not on political special interests and an unattainable wishlist that the budget cannot support.

Finally, both candidates live in the more southern part of the county, and see this as an opportunity to provide a more rounded representation on the BOE. I believe it is time we expect that our Board of Education focus its energies at the point where the education process meets the student. I believe that Susan Holt and Steven Nevin are the individuals to meet that expectation

Jean S. Hruch

Eldersburg

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