Racism isn't reason many parents choose private schools...

April 03, 2001

Racism isn't reason many parents choose private schools

Susan Reimer's column "Earmark tax dollars for public school needs" (March 27) was a low blow to parents of private and parochial school students.

Ms. Reimer stated that "a great many parents put their children in private schools to keep them away from the poor, the African-American and the Hispanic kids, and the chaos they believe those kids bring to public schools."

In fact, a great many parents put their children in private schools because of better curriculums, smaller class sizes, religious training and a more disciplined environment, not because of race.

And $5 million for textbooks is a bargain when one considers how much the state of Maryland would have to pay if all children went to go to public schools.

Mark J. Harold

Kingsville

Susan Reimer pulls no punches in describing private school parents' motives as blatantly racist.

I don't know what research Ms. Reimer conducted, but she sure didn't talk to me.

If she had, I would have told her that I, and just about every other private school parent I know, put our children in private school because we are convinced that the unique educational benefits of the schools we have chosen are well worth the tremendous financial sacrifice many of us undergo to afford the tuition.

Accusing an entire class of sincere citizens of being bigots because we seek the education we deem best for our children is a new low in journalism.

Richard A. Pretl

Baltimore

With surprise and dismay I learned that parents who support state textbook aid for their children infuriate columnist Susan Reimer. It was even more astounding for her to label them racist for choosing to send their children to Catholic or other private schools.

Textbook aid is an issue of fairness. Children who attend Catholic schools also come from tax-paying families and should share in one of state government's core missions -- providing for the education of our children.

Many good people deserve an apology.

Dr. Ronald J. Valenti

Baltimore

The writer is superintendent of schools for the archdiocese of Baltimore.

Children in private schools deserve public support, too

Recognizing in a small way the value of private schools to the well-being of Marylanders hardly seems "an abomination." ("Earmark tax dollars for public school needs," March 27).

I saw nothing public schools shouldn't have on Ms. Reimer's shopping list. But the cost would exceed the private school book subsidy by a hundred-fold.

Don't tear down the subsidy simply because public schools need improvement.

Timothy Naughton

Baltimore

One has to wonder how the basic supplies Susan Reimer refers to are not available in public schools, when their average per pupil allotment is $7,133. The tuition at some local nonpublic elementary schools is less than half that amount.

Nonpublic schools families are not the enemy of public schools. Ms. Reimer should stop characterizing them as such.

Fran Critzman

Baltimore

As a parochial school parent who "infuriates" Susan Reimer, I found her column extremely infuriating.

To say that the state assisting in purchasing textbooks for private schools is throwing "money out the State House windows" is very degrading.

Are our children not worth it?

Kathryn A. Carson

Baltimore

Execute murderers as soon as possible

The bleeding hearts in the Assembly are again pushing for a moratorium on the death penalty and eventually the abolition of the penalty ("House approves bill to halt executions," March 25). I strongly oppose both suggestions.

It is very wrong to consider any notion that the death penalty is racist. The people on death row -- black and white -- got there because they were tried, convicted and sentenced for their terrible crimes.

There should be no mercy for any of them. Their executions should be carried out as soon as possible.

Too many civilians and valiant police officers have been killed by the low-lifes on death row; the criminals should pay with their lives, as ordered by the courts.

Joseph A. Dyson

Baltimore

The Geckle brothers are the real victims

I take exception to The Sun's characterization of the Back River Supply burglar as a "victim" ("Victim's attorney seeks arrest in fatal shooting at warehouse," March 22). It would be more accurate to refer to the business owners as victims.

As a victim of multiple business burglaries I can testify that this type of crime is not a priority with local police.

I understand the total frustration of the Geckle brothers. They have my unqualified support. Criminals should be prosecuted, not law-abiding citizens.

Bryson Christhilf

Timonium

I think anyone who's been the victim of a crime, as I have been, can empathize with the Geckle brothers' plight. It's sad how the perpetrators get glorified, and the defenders get vilified.

I'm glad the Geckles acted in self- defense: Why wait and see if you're the one who is going to be shot?

Crime is rampant, the police can't be everywhere and law-abiding citizens are tired of being victimized.

Laraine Fisher

Baltimore

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