Visitors' lack of consideration forced school to restrict access to grounds

July 26, 2011

I would like an opportunity to respond to a letter published in the July 13 edition of the Catonsville Times ("Neighbors dismayed to find access had been denied"), which blasted Mount de Sales Academy for purposely isolating itself from the neighborhood.

As an Academy Heights resident with a strong relationship with Mount de Sales Academy, I take strong exception to the opinion regarding the entry gates being closed on July 4.

The writer stated that "the school put a decisive end to the neighborhood tradition" of watching the fireworks from the grounds by locking newly erected security gates.

It appears as though the writer assumes that the school grounds are open to the public for use at any time.

This could not be further from the truth.

The grounds are private property and are posted as such.

Even so, Mount de Sales has, for many years, allowed people to use the grounds for sled riding and watching fireworks.

However, over the last several years, people have taken advantage of the school's generosity.

Sports teams have to deal with "presents" left on the fields by inconsiderate neighbors' pets; trash has been dumped and other problems, ranging from nuisance issues to crime.

The fence and gates were not installed to deliver "a blow to the solidarity of the surrounding community" but to protect the students as well as the sisters, who not only teach there but also live on the grounds.

Karen and Mark DeHoff

Academy Heights

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