Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 18, 2005

Appreciation for a Good Samaritan

Last Saturday, my husband and sons, ages 1 and 4, were involved in a car accident in Bel Air near Wal-Mart. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. As my husband dealt with the aftermath -- the other car's occupants, the crying children, the police and the tow truck -- a good Samaritan who gave her name only as Amy came over to comfort the boys.

She sat with them in the car until the smell from the deployed airbags became too much for the children, then asked my husband's permission to take them into a McDonald's a few feet away while he tended to the accident. Once things were under control, she left.

By the time I arrived to pick up my family, my husband and the boys were calmly eating lunch, but I was too late to meet Amy. Later, when my 4-year-old son recounted what had happened, he told me glowingly about this kind, reassuring woman and how he wanted to thank her. Amy told him that she has children, too, and I can only say thank you, from one mom to another, for helping my children and husband during an anxious time.

Michelle Landrum

Towson

Education issues are countywide

In a recent letter to the editor, a parent expressed concern about the possibility that his children would be redistricted from Fallston to attend Bel Air High School. The concern focused in part on the differences between Fallston and Bel Air High in terms of academics. While it is perfectly understandable for any parent to want the best for their students, it is not useful to make the case in a way that disparages others.

So, for example, just because Bel Air High has a higher passing rate on the High School Assessment in English, a greater percentage of math students performing above the "basic" level on the Maryland School Assessment, higher SAT scores, more classes taught by highly qualified teachers and more seniors planning to attend college than Fallston High, it would not be helpful for Bel Air parents to denigrate schools in Fallston. Instead, we should ask how all schools can progress to provide excellence in education. The good news for everyone is that parents can make the difference. In fact, research demonstrates that parental involvement is the most important factor in predicting student achievement. Best of all, parental involvement is portable. It will travel well to any school in Harford County.

At Bel Air High, our students and staff are high achievers, despite being challenged by a building that is in its death throes. Imagine their potential once this impediment is removed. It is for this reason that our PTSA has been advocating for a new school building. I urge those parents who are concerned about being redistricted to Bel Air High to get involved and help our school meet this challenge.

Parents everywhere can help their schools meet their own challenges by joining the PTA and by being active stakeholders in public education. Parental involvement should be an action, not just a reaction. Redistricting may highlight differences between schools, but as parents, we need to be mindful that someone's children go to each and every school in Harford County. Is some other child's education unimportant? Public education will improve when we all realize that we should all care about excellence in education, that we can all do something to make it happen and that we will all benefit if we do.

Cindy Mumby

President, Bel Air High School PTSA

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