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By GADY A. EPSTEIN | November 27, 2000
As the Columbia parents looked on protectively through the morning fog, their children clambered onto the yellow school bus. It seemed an ordinary bus, except it took a strange turn - toward a new public school in rural Fulton, away from an older, more diverse Columbia middle school rejected by the kids' parents. This unusual bus ride, repeated daily in Columbia's Clemens Crossing neighborhood, has become a metaphor for discontent in the town's older schools. In recent years, hundreds of families have removed their children from many of the town's elementary and middle schools.
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NEWS
By Luke Lavoie, llavoie@tribune.com | November 7, 2013
After eight days of testimony, the prosecution rested its case Thursday afternoon in the Howard County sex abuse trial of a former employee for the Maryland School for the Deaf in Columbia.   Clarence Cepheus Taylor III, 38, of Baltimore County, is a former student life counselor and dormitory aid accused of sexually abusing seven deaf girls who were students at the school between 2008 and 2011. According to State's Attorney spokesman Wayne Kirwan, Judge William V. Tucker allowed Taylor to sleep on his decision to testify on his behalf on Friday.
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NEWS
September 15, 1999
A front-page article yesterday in The Sun and a follow-up article today describe the decisions of parents to bus their children to the new Lime Kiln Middle School in Fulton instead of the Columbia schools near where they reside. The parents acted because they say the new school will be better academically, but the shift of dozens of pupils -- almost all of them white -- exacerbates a growing racial and economic imbalance in some Howard County schools. What do you think of the parents' decision?
NEWS
By Luke Lavoie, llavoie@tribune.com | October 28, 2013
The trial of the Baltimore County man accused of sexually abusing seven young female students at the Maryland School for the Deaf in Columbia began in Howard County Circuit Court Monday. Clarence Cepheus Taylor, 38, of the 2500 block of Hallam Court in  Baltimore County , is accused of sexually abusing seven girls between the ages of 10 and 13 while working at the overnight school, which is located in the 8100 block of Old Montgomery Road. Taylor, who was a dorm aide working the evening shift during the time the alleged incidents have been reported to have occurred, was arrested in December after three victims came forward.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | October 5, 1999
The Howard County Council's two Republicans complain they've been left out of plans for a public meeting to brainstorm ideas for improving schools with image problems."
NEWS
By Shanon D. Murray and Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF | June 4, 1996
The sale of two financially strapped Columbia schools to an investment group should be final this week, the prospective owners say -- and repaying a loan from parents will be one of the first orders of business.The investment group, led by a Woodbridge, Va., couple, is purchasing the Columbia Academy Elementary School and the Columbia Academy Pre-School -- founded by Raymond and Gayle Chapman in 1994 and 1991, respectively -- for $210,000, the purchasers said.The Chapmans, who have managed the schools since opening them, were not available for comment yesterday.
NEWS
By Tanika White and Tanika White,SUN STAFF | October 20, 1999
Some parents who attended Monday night's County Council meeting about problems in Howard County's older schools say they are being left out of the discussion, despite their desire to be a part of the solutions."
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Erika D. Peterman and Larry Carson and Erika D. Peterman,SUN STAFF | September 28, 1999
The decision by school administrators to delay countywide redistricting is drawing fire from top elected officials, who say it's costly and doesn't help older Columbia schools repair image problems.County Executive James N. Robey said he was "surprised" by the decision, revealed late Thursday at a school board meeting. He had been expecting countywide redistricting, which would redraw school boundary lines and require many students to be bused out of their commmunities -- some to underused Columbia schools, a controversial idea.
NEWS
October 19, 1999
CONCERNED citizens met last night to discuss how to improve the public schools with members of the Howard County Council, the Columbia Association and the county's delegation to the General Assembly -- bodies with limited authority over the schools but a great stake in their performance.A bit of tension was neither surprising nor harmful. The important prerequisite for this public dialogue, which should continue, is open-mindedness and willingness to consider all points of view.Evidence can be found that parents were not always heard by the school administration.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff Writer | June 15, 1993
Del. Virginia M. Thomas says too many East Columbia schools are "discriminated against" and she's organizing a coalition to make sure the district's older schools get a larger share of the county schools' budget.Ms. Thomas met with PTA and administrative representatives from Oakland Mills village's five schools last week to discuss inadequacies and offer advice on seeking county and state money for improvements."You look at the older schools, and there's no money for anything. That's the bottom line," said Ms. Thomas.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | July 12, 2013
Maryland's top court upheld the convictions this week of Karl Marshall Walker Jr. a former Columbia elementary school worker whose love letters to an 8-year-old girl at the school led to precedent-setting convictions on charges of sexual abuse of a minor and attempted sexual abuse of a minor. Walker acknowledged that his behavior was inappropriate, but maintained that he neither molested nor sexually exploited the girl, nor had he tried to, and his lawyers said he was the first person in the state to be convicted of sexual abuse without evidence of physical sexual contact.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | May 31, 2013
A mechanical problem forced a police helicopter pilot to make an emergency landing on the football field of a local high school in Columbia on Thursday night, a maneuver that caused "significant damage" to the aircraft but injured no one, according to Howard County Police. About 11:07 p.m., the pilot and three flight officers were responding to a police call when the undetermined problem occurred, police said. The pilot, a tenured officer and certified flight instructor, "spotted Wilde Lake High School nearby" using night-vision goggles and performed the emergency landing in the field, which sustained minimal damage.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | March 23, 2012
The video is arresting. A figure wearing a ski mask appears just outside the front door of a school on a sunny day. In an instant, he and a student are charging each other, fists raised. They meet, a punch is thrown, and the person in the ski mask falls to the ground. Students scream. A girl charges the person who threw the punch, and then punches him. Students scream some more as the shaky frame captures them running to and fro. Welcome to the website worldstarhiphop.com — and in this case, the campus of Long Reach High School in Columbia.
NEWS
By Kellie Woodhouse, Columbia Flier | September 24, 2010
A 38-year-old Columbia educator was found guilty Friday of sexually abusing a third-grader by writing her dozens of explicit love letters, setting a new precedent in Maryland for child predators being convicted of a sex crime without ever touching a child in a sexual manner. Howard County Circuit Court Judge Diane Leasure ruled that Karl Marshall Walker Jr., who worked as a paraeducator at Bryant Woods Elementary School for three years, sexually exploited an 8-year-old girl by giving her notes that spoke of his passion for her, his desire to kiss her and his request that she keep their correspondence secret.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2010
A jogger found a body hanging outside Columbia's Long Reach High School at 7 a.m. Wednesday, and a police spokeswoman said it is likely a case of suicide. Police did not reveal the person's identity but said the man was not a student at the school. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Schroen said there were no signs of foul play but declined to reveal if a note was found or exactly where the body was found. A final determination must await an autopsy, she said. Students were kept inside the building until the body was removed.
NEWS
By John-John Williams IV, The Baltimore Sun | June 24, 2010
Wilde Lake Middle School Principal Tom Saunders stood with his hand extended, welcoming the 161 eighth-graders to give him a high-five on the final day of their middle school career. Many students slapped his palm with an enthusiastic crack. Others opted for a hug. And there were a number who were so overcome with emotion that they headed to the nearest adult to console them as they cried at the thought of leaving their beloved school. Saunders was joined by the entire staff of the school Wednesday for its annual "clap out" ceremony, in which the adults line the halls leading to the school entrance to give the eighth-graders a final sendoff.
NEWS
By Erika D. Peterman and Tanika White and Erika D. Peterman and Tanika White,SUN STAFF | October 14, 1999
Thunder Hill Elementary is the type of school that doesn't fit neatly into the emotional debate about differing perceptions of Howard County's public schools.While some older Columbia schools have set off discussions about slipping standards and fleeing parents, 30-year-old Thunder Hill has flourished. Last year, 80 percent of the school's second-graders achieved at least a satisfactory score in reading on the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills -- well above the 70 percent countywide average for second-graders.
NEWS
By Erika D. Peterman and Erika D. Peterman,SUN STAFF | March 17, 1999
To the relief of dozens of parents, the Howard County school board indicated last night that it would delay redistricting children who attend northeastern elementary schools next fall.The board made its intentions known during an unofficial "straw vote" at a public hearing on redistricting last night.Moving pupils in the northeast -- a rapidly growing area that has seen frequent redistricting -- probably isn't necessary next year because "the populations in these schools are not increasing as quickly as we expected," said school system spokeswoman Patti Caplan.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | June 10, 2010
A grand jury indicted a 51-year-old JROTC instructor at a Howard County high school who was charged with having sex with a 17-year-old female student in a school supply closet, police said. Sgt. Charles Ray Moore of Bowie, who police said had sexual contact with a senior member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Atholton High School in Columbia over a two-day period in May, was indicted by the Howard County grand jury Wednesday. Moore, of the 3100 block of Aventine Lane, was charged with sexual child abuse and sexual child abuse by a person in a position of authority in May, after the teen's mother reported the incidents to officials, Howard County police said.
NEWS
By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun | April 16, 2010
A 38-year-old Columbia man who worked with special-education students at a local elementary school is accused of sexually abusing two children from September 2009 to last month, according to a source with knowledge of the case. Karl Marshall Walker Jr., who worked as a aide at Bryant Woods Elementary School in Columbia, faces two counts of sexual abuse of a minor and two counts of attempted sexual abuse, according to the source. Walker, of the 5600 block of Stevens Forest Road, was indicted by a Howard County grand jury on Wednesday and arrested Thursday by the sheriff's department, Howard County schools spokeswoman Patti Caplan confirmed.
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