Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 22, 2007

Gifted kids need expert attention

I thank The Sun and reporter Liz Bowie for the article on the lack of education programs for the gifted in Maryland ("The others left behind," Nov. 18).

As the parent of a child who has been identified as gifted, I can tell you that these children are being ignored.

I've also seen that these extremely bright young people are almost universally misunderstood.

They often have trouble making friends because they tend to be introverts and their interests are beyond the intellectual abilities of their classmates. They are often accused of being stuck up or standoffish. Many of their teachers are intimidated by them and view their curiosity as a challenge.

Most parents are baffled as to what to do if they are lucky enough to figure out that their child is gifted. Once they figure it out, it is expensive to take advantage of the programs that are available.

It is even more expensive to move a gifted child into a private school, where the coursework can be more demanding and the curriculum can be tailored to inspire a top-ability student.

It is time for our exceptional students to get the attention our exceptional athletes get.

Judy Kinshaw-Ellis

Baltimore

State must mandate programs for gifted

How unfortunate for students in Maryland's public schools that there is no state mandate for the education of the gifted and talented ("The others left behind," Nov. 18).

Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, Baltimore's schools had an excellent, well-defined program for identifying gifted and talented students in elementary schools.

As a specialist in elementary education, I helped train and supervise teachers of the gifted and talented in 35 elementary schools throughout the city.

Together, we identified and placed students who demonstrated intelligence, creativity and the desire for advanced materials in programs in all major subject areas.

Today, in my role as instructor in education at College of Notre Dame of Maryland, I tell my students, who are future teachers, about the need to address the education of the bright and under-served.

We study the research. And we see that we do not see enough attention across the state to these youths.

I hope that the Maryland State Department of Education will call upon colleges and local school systems to work together to put programs for gifted and talented youths back into our educational framework.

Betty H. Kansler

Baltimore

Tax hikes will hurt working residents

I would like to thank the governor and his liberal-Democrat buddies for raising our taxes ("How will the new tax plan affect you?" Nov. 20).

Luckily, I work in Delaware. So I will continue to purchase my cigarettes and buy large items in Delaware.

When the governor raises the tax on gasoline, I will purchase my gas in Delaware also. When my wife retires in seven years, we will move to Delaware.

Once again, Maryland is sticking it to its working residents.

Matt Freund

Bel Air

World faces threats greater than Iran

While Iran is indeed a threat to Israel and other states, we cannot deal with this threat effectively unless we recognize the existential threats every nation, including Iran and Israel, face in common ("U.N. agency offers mixed report on Iran nuclear effort," Nov. 16).

Israel and every other state must defend their citizens against offensive action by other states and entities. But the prospect of universal destruction by nuclear weapons and by climate change calls for an equally unprecedented effort to make peace.

We can deal effectively with our common threats only in a world where peace and peaceful coexistence are the rule of the day.

Robert D. Katzoff

Baltimore

Ignoring the toll Arab bombers exact

John Murphy's article about the unfortunate youths of the West Bank patently fails to address the deaths and maiming caused by youthful suicide bombers ("The young prisoners of the West Bank," Nov. 18).

Where are the photos of the grieving Israeli families whose children have been lost to the young suicide bombers?

And where are the articles about the Israeli doctors who treat the would-be bombers who injure themselves when they mess up the bombs?

Paul Alpert

Baltimore

Israeli abuse of kids is often overlooked

Israel's utterly unacceptable treatment of Palestinian prisoners who are minors has been known for years by those of us who closely follow events in Israel and Palestine but has rarely been covered by the U.S. mainstream media.

The Sun deserves kudos for doing so in John Murphy's report about these incidents and the violations of international protocols they involve ("The young prisoners of the West Bank," Nov. 18).

The harsh treatment of children and their lack of legal protection in Israeli custody are hard to read about.

Only slightly less difficult to absorb is the knowledge that adult prisoners are treated even more harshly and are also subject to administrative detention in which they can stay in prison for years without knowing what charges have been brought against them or seeing the evidence.

Miriam M. Reik

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