Inquiries are ethical
From: Joe and Kathleen Draego
Millersville Elementary parents
In the July 22 "Readers write" section, teacher Barbara Hudak characterized parent inquiries into the behavior of school administrators as unethical. But since the nurturing and protection of our children, in school and out, is the epitome of ethical behavior, we are astounded at her conclusion.
We insist it is ethical that alleged verbal and physical abuse ochildren be taken seriously. We believe it's also ethical to take this concern to the community at large when allegations are not dealt with honorably. This parent effort is based in the love and commitment for all children.
Are we really in opposition? Is it because parents are supposed to let the system handle the problem? The system allowed the problem to happen in the first place. And, since the alleged abuse occurred, parents have been actively pursuing in-system solutions. But, with all the phone calls, letters and meetings, we are left with the same bottom line:
1. The teacher involved may be back in the classroom in September (in anyone's school, not just ours).
2. If alleged child abuse was not reported to county ProtectivServices by appropriate school officials (a state law mandate), the county Board of Education will not release this information.
Our hard-won experience leads us to believe that the Board of Education is a system completely unaccountable to parents. It is a closed system we have seen here. It's a system that is first and foremost concerned with protecting itself -- not our children. Mrs. Hudak, this is the perceived ogre, not one individual.
Mrs. Hudak describes parents raising these issues as "a small group of parents with their own agenda." We would like to include information about this group's agenda beyond the issue at hand. These folks have donated thousands of volunteer hours to helping teachers and children, as well as participated in raising over $40,000 for school use. They have consistently taken responsibility for making the school better for children. Again, this is consistent with many teachers' goals. Again, are we really in opposition?
From: John J. Miara
I wish to comment on Mr. Leopold's letter demeaning the way in which Mr. Lighthizer has been conducting himself since he has been throned to a high office in the state Department of Transportation.
I have news for him! The people see this nonsense of government all around them. He is not telling us anything new. What is missing in his letter is a possible solution to the problem. By inference, he might be saying, "Vote Republican" -- but that hasn't worked for us. We cannot impeach the governor in this state -- so what options are open to the electorate?
We voted for the Republican Neall, and it has taken him years to replace the old department heads. Many are on board even today.
He submits lengthy articles to the paper about cleaning up the environment, yet continues to make do with one broken-down street cleaner for the county.
He requests of his County Council -- now Democrats and Republicans -- to vote for the maximum 10 percent increase allowed by state law for home assessments. Yet, right next door in Calvert and Talbot counties, the county commissioners have ruled that their subjects will not experience any increase in their home assessments! Now I ask, when we pay that additional $.21 per $100 tax to the state to pay for the Maryland debt, are not our people paying a higher, disproportionate share?
Just blocks from your home in Elizabeth's Landing, the governor continues to enjoy 24-hour state police protection of a home that he's never in. When are our representatives going to say enough already?
Now do you think the leader of the Republican party in the Senate will say anything about all this or just vote "aye" with all the rest and say he can't take a pay cut because the Constitution won't allow it?
Thanks for response
From: Frances Jones
I have nothing but admiration for paramedics, medical personnel, the Shock Trauma section of University Hospital and the U.S. Coast Guard ambulance crew.
On July 20, I was ready to fly to England for a vacation when I received a phone call from the Coast Guard. My son Allison was hurt when a cable broke, and I am told something weighing about 2 1/2 tons fell on my son. The Coast Guard ambulance wasted no time getting my son to Harbor Hospital, where the expediency and concern of about eight doctors and nurses were able to stabilize him, but they did not have the equipment to treat him, so he was quickly transported to Maryland Shock Trauma, where, within hours they performed surgery.
While I am extremely grateful for the medical treatment being administered, there is another area that badly needs attention, and that is the parking problem.
As a 70-year-old widow on Social Security, the parking lot across from University Hospital cost me $12 a day, and that is with a handicapped tag. Without it, a person pays $25. This is gouging the public at a time they can least afford it, and Mayor Schmoke and his council should be as concerned for the families of sick and injured by providing free parking for them, as he is for providing Oriole Park patrons -- and I don't mean by taking away parking from Baltimore City residents.