Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 26, 2004

Money isn't key to ending chaos in city's schools

The Sun's article suggesting a need to increase personnel in city public schools, and thus increase an already-stretched budget, to avoid fires was completely off the mark ("School officials say staff cuts contribute to outbreak of fires," Oct. 21).

The people (one cannot use the term students) who are creating this disruption should not be in an overburdened school system.

These disruptive people will never accomplish anything of merit, whether they "graduate" or not. They are, however, holding back other students and the city school system.

Our school system is an embarrassment to the city as it is. Let's find these disruptive people and get them out of the schools. Let them find out what life is like when you can't set a fire to provide a momentary distraction.

It's time to root out the problem, not spend money accommodating it.

Steven Sutor

Baltimore

As I read The Sun and watch television news, I see Baltimore schools CEO Bonnie S. Copeland blaming recent discipline problems on lack of funding. But money is not the problem. The problem lies with the parents of the children setting the fires and being violent.

The parents are not raising their children to respect others, to respect property or to respect themselves.

Money is not the answer for the problems with Baltimore's schools.

Mark Poe

Baltimore

Parents responsible for unruly children

It is appalling that our Baltimore schools are out of control. It is far more appalling when we hear parents and citizens blame school officials and city leadership for the problems ("Schools officials say staff cuts contribute to outbreak of fires," Oct. 21).

The blame belongs to the parents of the children who are disruptive and out of control. There is a solution to this problem and one that will turn the situation around overnight: Hold parents responsible for the actions and behavior of their children.

This would also cause parents to rethink how to rear children.

John Peoples

Severn

Why don't parents help city schools?

There seem to be a lot of security issues in the city schools, with recent violence and with fires being instigated by students at an alarming rate. Many of the parents are screaming for the city to pay for more police officers ("Baltimore school officials ask residents to help stem tide of arson and violence," Oct. 22).

Why is it that the parents of the students aren't spending time in the schools helping to monitor the halls, acting as teacher's assistants and homeroom parents, helping with the sports teams, working on school bake sales, transporting kids on field trips and to meets and competitions, collecting supplies that art classes can use, helping with after-school clubs, working with students to act as crossing guards, helping take care of the class pets over vacation, and assisting with the multitude of activities that occur in conjunction with our public schools?

How can someone who works possibly have any time to do this?

I guess you could ask my parents and the parents of the kids I grew up with, because everyone helped somehow, and we were kids of multiple-child families, for the most part with two working parents.

Ann Bowen

Lutherville

President's honesty trumps Kerry's polish

Everyone has a right to his or her opinion, and so Ellen Goodman in "Debates exposed three faces of Bush" (Opinion

Commentary, Oct. 18) can shudder at President Bush's show of emotions during his debates with Sen. John Kerry.

I, too, have seen better presentations from Mr. Bush, but I prefer to think that he is a rather honest man, and what you see from him is what you get. That is no small thing.

Mr. Kerry is very polished in oratory and has lots of self-control, but what are his hidden agendas?

Looking at his record, I see that he has given comfort to the enemy in time of war. I see that he has been against building up our military in perilous times. I see that Yasser Arafat endorses him.

And so, I'll take a less-polished man with more than a bit of character instead of a polished man who has honed his performance but will undermine our troops.

Mr. Bush isn't perfect, but he's the better of the two choices.

Dorothy Lee Siders

Baltimore

The fate of frogs could be our own

The Sun's article "Frogs on the verge of extinction" should be a wake-up call (Oct. 18). Amphibians are extremely sensitive to environmental changes, and the alarming disappearance of frogs, toads, salamanders and other amphibians around the world is an early sign that other wildlife - and perhaps people - could be at risk, too.

After all, the destructive effects of wetland and forest destruction, climate change and pollution from pesticides aren't limited to frogs.

Fortunately, each of us can help. We can conserve water and energy, drive fuel-efficient vehicles, and restore habitat and monitor wildlife through projects such as the National Wildlife Federation's Frogwatch USA program (which uses citizen-collected data to help better understand the health of amphibian populations).

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