State Digest


July 12, 2006

Hearing youths may join school for deaf

The Maryland School for the Deaf is considering admitting hearing students who are fluent in American Sign Language, Superintendent James E. Tucker says.

Such admissions reflect a belief among some deaf educators that their institutions should be considered language schools, not just places to teach the hearing-impaired, Tucker told Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and his running mate, Kristen Cox, during their visit to the school's main campus in Frederick on Monday. The school also has a campus in Columbia.

Tucker said he and members of the school's board of trustees are discussing the possibility of admitting hearing students, including children of deaf adults and others who have mastered sign language.

Tucker said he hopes to have a yearlong discussion with school trustees and state officials regarding admitting hearing students.

"It is a natural evolution," Tucker said. He pointed out that the School for the Deaf uses the public school curriculum and participates in the Maryland School Assessment, an annual test of reading and math achievement in grades three through eight that meets the testing requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Joseph Finnegan, executive director of the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf in St. Augustine, Fla., said by telephone yesterday that some schools refer to admitting hearing students as "reverse mainstreaming."

"I don't know if trend is the right word, but there certainly has been some exploration in that area by several schools," Finnegan said.

The Maryland School for the Deaf had an enrollment last fall of 277 students in Frederick and 100 in Columbia. The school includes an elementary, middle school and high school.



Fatal stabbing of inmate prompts lockdown at prison

An inmate died yesterday after a stabbing at the Maryland House of Correction.

Another inmate suspected in the attack was placed in segregation, and officers locked down the maximum-security prison, said Capt. Priscilla Doggett, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Division of Correction.

"All inmates' movements are restricted until further notice," she said.

The victim was stabbed with a homemade knife about 2:40 p.m. as he headed indoors from the prison yard. Officers who saw the attack took the suspect into custody and confiscated the knife, Doggett said. The wounded inmate was taken to a hospital, where he died at 3:36 p.m., she said.

Doggett declined to identify the dead man, saying authorities needed to notify his next of kin. He began serving a life sentence in 1994 for homicide and weapons convictions in Prince George's County.

She also declined to release the suspect's name because charges were pending against him. He has been serving a life sentence since 1993 for murder and handgun violations in Baltimore.

The state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and state police will investigate the attack.

The population of the House of Correction was at its capacity of about 1,100 inmates yesterday. The prison sits on property that is in Anne Arundel and Howard counties.


Allegany County

Post office to lock up flag after four weekend thefts

They're locking up Old Glory after hours at the Cresaptown post office after thieves stole the American flag from a pole outside the building on four consecutive weekends.

Debbie Walsh, the clerk in charge, said Monday that she is tired of ordering a new flag from the main post office in Cumberland every week. Walsh said she reported the latest theft to the Maryland State Police after letting the first three incidents go.

"I'm very outraged that somebody would want to steal our flag. It represents our freedom, and the men and women are fighting for our freedom right now," Walsh said.


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