Abortion picketers are objectionable According to the...

LETTERS

May 12, 2002

Abortion picketers are objectionable

According to the article ("Abortion protests draw parents' anger," March 19) on anti-abortion picketers at Gynecare Center in Severna Park, the Catholic anti-choicers seem to feel that their more subtle tactics are less objectionable than the graphic and threatening signs displayed by the group that appears in front of the clinic on Thursday afternoons.

However, there is nothing peaceful about dehumanizing women to the point of putting them at risk from unsafe abortions or compulsory pregnancy, whether the tactic is bombing, coercion, picketing or lobbying. And, folks who name doctors as "butchers" certainly need to be watched closely.

A regular among the picketers at Gynecare is Michael Bray, a convicted clinic bomber who has condoned violence against doctors who perform abortions. It is only a matter of time before someone shoots yet another doctor or clinic worker.

None of these zealots should be allowed to interfere with- women's access to annual exams, contraceptives and safe abortions.

Susan Jay

Baltimore

Autism program takes needed space

Severna Park Elementary School has housed the program for autistic children for nine years. The increasing population in the SPES home school district makes clear that SPES sorely needs the two classrooms now used by autistic programs for home school district children.

Specialized staff resources, monopolized by autistic programs, including speech and physical therapy, are unable to address existing needs in the larger student population; apparently you believe putting those students into "relocatable classrooms" on the grounds of SPES to accommodate a greater than 200 percent expansion of autistic programs is a "solution."

I beg to differ. I say, "apparently" because there has been no public announcement or discussion of this move, though it's clearly under way. We, parents of SPES home school area students, strenuously object; we surmise it is the school board's ill-advised response to the small number of parents who recently approached the board urging maintenance of this program at SPES.

We share a desire for good programs for widely diverse educational needs. However, the limits of patience of overwhelming majorities of SPES parents, voters, and taxpayers will be put on display opposing the disproportionate burden and sacrifice we're asked to accept at the expense of our children's public education.

That people in positions of responsibility for all students could consider this a solution speaks volumes, and is an abject failure to appreciate our community values.

What is the explanation for existing space at Millersville and Point Pleasant not being used for this purpose? How many students enrolled in autistic programs are from SPES home school district? How many would be in the expanded program? Are there "rights" for some to attend SPES which take precedence over those of children in this home school district? Please explain.

Ric Neseth

Severna Park

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