November 20, 2005

THE ISSUE: -- The Anne Arundel County school system, reacting to an Oct. 28 incident in which an Odenton teenager was shot in the thigh outside an Annapolis High School football game, moved the starting times for all county varsity football games to 5:15 p.m. from 7:15 p.m. The administration also pledged to increase police supervision and stop selling tickets after halftime. Spectators who leave the stadium after that time will not be allowed to return and will have to leave school property immediately. Are the new regulations an overreaction, or did the school system handle the issue correctly?

Some parents can't arrive earlier

Since the games will be two hours earlier on Fridays, how many parents are going to be unable to attend the games? We all know traffic is heavier on Fridays and it would pose a hardship for many parents to attend the games. Are parents a help or hindrance at the games as far as chaperoning and helping to keep the students orderly? Thanks for the opportunity to "speak out."

V. Zimmerman Pasadena

Many suffer from new start time

The Anne Arundel County school board, in a knee-jerk reaction to an isolated incident, has made everyone who wishes to attend a high school football game suffer - from parents who can't make it to the games because they work until 5 p.m. to the boosters who lose money at the gate or at concession stands.

Do the people at the school board have the misguided notion that someone who is carrying a gun won't come to an earlier game? It's still dark at 5:15.

And what of the people - mostly parents - who are turned away after halftime? If that's the only time these people can get to the game after driving home from work, why should they be penalized? Does the school board think that hard-working parents - some of whom undoubtedly push speed limits and safety factors in an effort to arrive at their children's games before the turn-away time - are the ones bringing in guns or otherwise presenting a safety risk?

For that matter, does the school board think that troublemakers only come in after halftime?

Michael Calo Glen Burnie

we want your opinions


The Anne Arundel County school system released a report last week that showed a 13-percent reduction in the number of students expelled from the 2003-04 school year to last year. But a poll of county seventh- and 11th-graders last year showed fewer felt safe in their classrooms.


What can the school system do to make students feel safe? Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by Wednesday. Please keep your response short and include your name, address and daytime phone number. A selection of responses will be published Sunday.

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