Caving in to complaint over mascot tramples the rights...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 17, 2001

Caving in to complaint over mascot tramples the rights of students

In The Sun's article "School faces a devil of a complaint" (Oct. 9), Baltimore County schools spokesman Charles A. Herndon is quoted as saying, "The Baltimore County public schools is not in the business of offending anyone."

Well, I am a Catonsville resident, Catonsville High alumnus and parent of a Catonsville High graduate and a current student. I am deeply offended by the callous and cowardly reaction to a parent's complaint about the senior class devil mascot.

I find it unconscionable that the school system would take such draconian actions to trample on the rights and work of the senior class students.

I will not say that the mother who made the complaint is wrong-headed. Although I disagree with her views, they should be respected. However, many persons of faith can make a reasoned distinction between a cartoon class mascot and the promotion of satanic worship.

As a former Baltimore police officer, I saw first-hand the evil humans can inflict. As a society, we can look at the events of Sept. 11 and see that sinful people do exist.

But until the kids at Catonsville start drawing pentagrams and sacrificing animals, let the senior class keep the mascot they have had for the past three years.

Moreover, let common sense apply in the management of our schools.

James M. Dugan

Baltimore

I was appalled by Principal Robert Tomback requiring the senior class to tear down their homecoming decorations after he received a complaint from one mother that the devil mascot promoted anti-Christian and satanic beliefs.

If this woman had entered the school, pointed and yelled "witch," would the school have passed out kindling? I expect a little more thought and less hysterical reaction from educators.

Initiating a student discussion on symbols and their meaning, particularly at this time in our history, may have been a more appropriate and instructive response. Then, celebrate homecoming.

Tom Dolan

Glen Arm

After reading "School faces a devil of a complaint," I don't know who needs more help: The wacky mom who complained about the caricature of a devil promoting satanic beliefs or the fawning Baltimore County school spokesman and principal who tripped all over themselves whining about offending someone.

I find all three of their attitudes offensive, and feel really sorry for the kids.

Kurt S. Willem

Hydes

Students don't see devil as a symbol of satanism

I am a sophomore at Catonsville High School, and I believe, with all the troubles in the world right now, it is pitiful that some parent is bringing up complaints about a harmless class mascot ("School faces a devil of a complaint," Oct. 9).

The seniors had no intentions of being offensive by adopting the devil as their mascot. If they meant to be offensive, they'd call themselves "the Devil Worshippers."

Just because they have a devil mascot doesn't mean they are anti-Christian. The sophomores don't worship their mascot, the bull, and the juniors don't worship the Ninja Turtles.

If this continues, mascots might as well be banned altogether. And what would spirit week be without mascots? That's half the fun.

Paige Wilhide

Ellicott City

I'm a student at Catonsville High School. I think that the seniors should be able to keep their class mascot.

The devil doesn't have anything to do with religion. It's just a group of kids trying to have a little fun. Anybody that would take it for more than that must have too much time on his or her hands.

With what is going on in the country now the last thing we as a community should be worried about is a class mascot.

Kinard Goodwin

Baltimore

I'm a student a Catonsville High, and I was upset when I found out the seniors' mascot might have to be changed.

The seniors are not practicing devil worship. Their devil is a smiling cartoon character, not an anti-Christian symbol.

The class of 2002 should be able to keep the devil for their last year of school.

Lauren Rohde

Baltimore

Misogynistic senator needs a field trip to Afghanistan

Kansas state Sen. Kay O'Connor's criticism of the 19th Amendment and women's right to vote goes way beyond conservatism ("Kansas lawmaker's shocking words insult women," Opinion

Commentary, Oct. 9). It is reactionary and ludicrous in this age.

Perhaps Ms. O'Connor should go on a field trip to Afghanistan and live as a woman under Taliban rule for a week.

She obviously is disconnected from sisterhood.

Rosemary J. Zook

East Stroudsburg, Pa.

State officials don't need notice of munitions shipments

I can't believe this governor. Now he wants to know when the military is shipping munitions through our state ("Glendening seeks to change policy on munitions shipping," Oct. 11).

Then low-level (read low-life) politicians would put the word out just to get their name in the paper. You would then have peacenik protesters lined up along the road. And it would sure make it easy for some of Osama's boys to do their thing.

I hope the military tells Gov. Parris N. Glendening to go take a jump.

John Fornaro

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