Fourth of July lockout at Mount de Sales Academy an affront to the community

July 07, 2011

For decades, residents of the neighborhoods around Mount de Sales Academy have flocked to the school's historic high ground to enjoy a view of the Catonsville fireworks show and catch a glimpse of the Inner Harbor's celebration in a low-key atmosphere that allowed people to catch up with friends and neighbors.

This year, however, the school decided to put an abrupt end to that neighborhood tradition. In recent months, residents have seen new black security fencing and gates erected between the school and the community. But few imagined this barrier would extend to the Fourth of July as well.

On Monday night when neighbors attempted to gather for the fireworks, they were greeted with locked gates at every entrance. In the distance, one could see a chosen few taking in the privileged view from the school's cupola, likely without a thought for the community below that had been excluded.

The unwelcoming actions of the academy are an affront to the spirit of the holiday and a blow to the solidarity of the surrounding community.

D. Farina, Catonsville

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