School denies neighbors access to watch July 4th fireworks

July 08, 2011

Residents of the neighborhoods surrounding Mount de Sales Academy have flocked to the school's high and historic grounds for decades to enjoy a decent view of Catonsville's fireworks and a glimpse of the harbor's celebration. 

A tranquil alternative to the crowds closer to Catonsville High School, spectators appreciated the low-key atmosphere and opportunity to catch up with friends and neighbors.

This year, however, the school put a decisive end to the neighborhood tradition. 

Over the past months, residents may have noticed the new black security fencing with matching gates erected as a definitive barrier between the school and community.

But few imagined this isolationism 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. Up 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 that was excluded below.

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

Academy Heights

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