Carroll County Times Opinion

An ode to pride flags in schools; student debt forgiveness a political giveaway | READER COMMENTARY

An ode to pride flags in schools

Here is a poem that I wrote about the recent Carroll County Board of Education decision to ban LGBTQ flags. This action was a form of unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. Censorship can come in many forms, making it harder to express a particular voice or viewpoint on an idea (like homosexuality). About 40% of transgender youth will attempt or commit suicide, according to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. They struggle with their outside and inside not being in alignment until they have the courage to live their true lives. Then they get mistreated. They should be celebrated, not for their gender identity, but for their courage.

Here is my poem:


I have come to the board meeting to speak to you all tonight,

on a topic that might cause you great discomfort and fright.


I am not here to talk about creepy spiders or slithery snakes,

or about the feeling that you get when making some mistakes.

I am here tonight, to talk to you all, about a fear, that is real,

and overcoming this fear, starts with the permission to feel.

All discomfort starts on the very edge of our comfort zone.

and don’t worry, this feeling is common; you are not alone.

Homophobia is the fear of sameness and comes from within.

This might baffle your mind just a bit, so let us dive right in.


You aren’t afraid of gay people, you are afraid you are, too.

Banning Pride flags makes it harder for some to live their true.

If you aren’t gay, this does not affect you in the very least.

You are in the majority, and your

population is increased.

In the majority, you never have to tell people you’re straight.


Discrimination is acting on stereotypes in ideas you formulate.

Look at your fingerprint, it’s unique to each one of you.

This is like many other things in life, like your point of view.

Each one of us is different and unique, in our own special way.

You can be heterosexual, bisexual, transgender, lesbian or gay.

Let us start with a rainbow, what on earth could that beauty lack,


but putting it on an LGBTQ Pride flag, might cause a panic attack.

It’s true, being lesbian, gay, bi, or transgender, is outside of the norm, but our true sexuality and gender identity are nothing to conform.

Our sexuality and gender are found inside of our very own DNA.

Unchangeable, even banning a Pride flag will not make it go away.

Banning a Pride flag will not change the way that you think or feel.

You’re just drawing attention to your own homophobia, in the reveal.


The only way to overcome fear, is to show courage in what you face.

Nobody likes being uncomfortable, this isn’t a feeling that we embrace.

Let’s end homophobia, by putting LGBTQ Pride flags back where they belong, because in the end, tolerance and acceptance will make us all strong!

Craig Dunkleberger, Hampstead

Student debt forgiveness a political giveaway

Without a calendar, we the public can always tell when a midterm or four-year election is coming soon. Current and wannabe politicians promise the naive citizenry that they’ll do this, that, and the other thing for them. And all the voter has to do is give them their vote. “Easy peasy!”

So today, the president announced that he is magically canceling the student debt in the amount of $10,000 for Americans making less than $125,000 a year. Now Joe the plumber and Sam the construction worker get to foot the bill for Johnny’s Harvard education. What a great idea for the “common man!”


According to the details of the plan, borrowers will have to pay no more than 5% of their discretionary income monthly on undergraduate loans and will have their unpaid monthly interest covered as long as they’re making payments. Oh, and that $125,000 cap is for individuals. Households making less than $250,000 and current students will also be eligible, depending on their parents’ income.

For those fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to remember their high school physics class, I believe that Newton’s Third law of Motion applies here. It states that “for every action, there is an equal or opposite reaction.” This means that Biden’s generosity with your and my money is already being met with scorn, even within his own party. But of course, those complaints were that $10,000 was not enough. Raphael Warnock, who is running for reelection to the U.S. Senate in Georgia, wants some $50,000 in forgiveness. WOW!

Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, called the $10,000 an insult to the Black community and said it would do nothing to reduce the “racial wealth gap.” WHAT!

Republicans rightfully attacked the announcement for what it is: an attempt to regain the favor of young voters who are struggling through their first major bout of inflation.

I see this as the usual slippery slope of political giveaways. That is, once this can of worms is opened, it will lead to movements to forgive my rent, or forgive my car loan, and even forgive my mortgage. And without question, colleges and universities will bump up their already sky-high tuition rates while delighting their predominantly leftist faculties.

Sadly, it’s still about Margaret Thatcher’s timeless quote, “Socialism works until you run out of other people’s money!”


Dave Price, Sykesville

More prayer needed on abortion issue

In my work in the field of life insurance and health insurance, I meet with a lot of people, both men and women, who are approximately my age. We are “baby boomers in our 60s and 70s. In the course of financial planning, many of these people openly lament that they have no grandchildren. Sometimes they say, “We have a ‘grand-puppy’ that we ‘dog-sit’ when a son or daughter goes on vacation,” but they say this with a twinge of sadness in their voices. A grand-puppy is not the same as a grandchild.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vital statistics, the birthrate in the U.S. has declined in 23 of the past 25 years. Millennials, now of childbearing age, are not having children very often. The published abortion rate in the U.S., according to the Guttmacher Institute, has also seen a decline in recent years, but that is misleading as it only accounts for surgical abortions and does not account for the increase in the use of pills that induce abortion.

So maybe baby boomers who think pro-choice and vote pro-choice should reconsider their positions. Perhaps we should pray for clarity and charity in this regard. If we are non-prayerful baby boomers, perhaps we should pray anyway. Prayer is powerful. The innocent life we might save could be our own precious grandchild’s.

Michael Hurley, Eldersburg