Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

December 28, 2003

Student backs school in arrest of classmate

In response to your article "Officials react to student arrest" (Dec. 17) by Tricia Bishop, I feel that you did not do an adequate job of representing both sides of the issue. I am a junior at Glenelg High School and upon reading your article many things aggravated me.

First of all, I thought that in order for a newspaper article to be unbiased the reporter needed to interview members of both parties. Although you interviewed Marvin Ebrahimzadeh, his lawyers, and his friends, your only representation of my school was a county spokesman. This leads me to believe you only asked the students Marvin is friends with to tell you how they feel.

Many of the students at Glenelg who do not protest Marvin's arrest have thoughts on the matter, too. I, for one, was upset upon hearing of a student's arrest. After learning the whole story, I feel the officer may have overreacted a bit. Nevertheless, the officer is placed at my school to protect me and other students. He must have done what he thought was right.

Your comment of "Ahmad said he is examining whether the incident happened because of anti-Muslim sentiment toward the youth, who is Middle Eastern and Muslim" is news to me. The other students and I at Glenelg find the above statement absolutely ridiculous. Many of us were not aware of his religion/ethnicity, and all of us know that he was not arrested by the police officer because he was Islamic. The investigation is bogus and should not even be considered.

The facts are in the article. Marvin was disobedient to a teacher, that teacher gave him the option of leaving his seat or dealing with an administrator, which is normal procedure for a disruptive student. Marvin chose the administrator and along with the administrator came a police officer. Nowhere in the article or the confrontation did Marvin's religion or ethnicity come in to play.

I know I, as well as many other people at Glenelg, think that this is being made into more of a big deal than it should be. Marvin was arrested because he was a threat, plain and simple. The other students at my school are protesting his arrest for attention and nothing else. I wish they would find a more worthy cause to protest, but after all I can't make them see how ignorant they appear.

Many of the students protesting do not even know Marvin. It is one thing for his friends to say they disagree, but what's the point of having so many followers? They are just annoying everyone.

I hope this ordeal will die down soon and the thoughts of racial discrimination be eliminated. It is laughable that the teachers at Glenelg, who are the nicest people on Earth, would have to go through "sensitivity training" just because a child who did wrong has parents who feel this is a racial matter.

Mostly, though, I hope that the reporter who writes another article on the issue, if he or she does, interviews both sides of the story. Not just the side of the supposed martyr.

Shannon Pacious West Friendship

Substitute teacher lauds Glenelg High

I am familiar with Howard County public schools through experience as a substitute teacher and as a coach for four years at Glenelg High School, as well as one year at another county high school. I am writing in response to the student arrest stemming from insubordination at Glenelg.

Glenelg is a school run with integrity from the top to bottom. The school is successful because its administration is strong, the teachers and staff dedicated, and the community involved. I applaud the biology teacher, Administrator Bob Connor and Officer Kelly Smith for acting to ensure teacher control of the classroom.

From my experience within the county schools, anecdotes from teachers, and school-related coverage in The Sun, respect and an attitude receptive to learning are the key ingredients to academic success. These key factors are most successfully learned from the home.

It is burdensome for schools to deal with students unwilling to uphold basic standards of conduct and parents more interested in pointing fingers than addressing the issue and truly a distraction for students thirsting for knowledge. Thank you, Glenelg, for doing your part to maintain the orderliness necessary for ready-to-learn students to benefit from our fine county school system.

Paula Foster Woodbine

Respect by students should be expected

I feel the need to respond to an article that appeared in The Baltimore Sun. The article describes an incident at Glenelg High School in which a student, upon refusing the directions of a teacher and an assistant principal, had to be forcibly removed and arrested by the resource officer on duty at the high school.

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