Tobacco Lobbyist, Give It Up
Well, there he goes again! I wish Bruce Bereano would worry more about the health of the public than tobacco lobbyists and their money.
Now he is thinking of suing the county government because of the new legislation prohibiting smoking in most public areas. Maybe the non-smoking public should sue him for interfering with clean, healthy, breathable air. . . . Give it up, Bereano. You are fighting a losing battle. I just returned from a wonderful vacation out West and even though I loved the scenery and the people of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, what stuck clearly in my mind was the fact that smoking is not allowed anywhere -- in restaurants (from sit-down ones to Burger King), shopping malls, schools, etc. . . . Motels and hotels provide both smoking and non-smoking rooms, and guess what? Non-smoking rooms win hands down.
If we are lucky enough in Howard County and Maryland, maybe we can follow these other states in the quest for a cleaner environment. . . .
The issue of year-round schooling is a debate between economists and caring parents and ultimately it may be children who lose. Conventional wisdom tells parents that children should play outside during the summer. The Howard County school system would have us parents believe that keeping children in air-tight, low-lighted buildings all day is better.
. . . To the economists, I say build more schools when necessary, or rent buildings, or find other cost-cutting measures. Good education is why many of us taxpayers moved to Howard County and we don't want this compromised.
Cable TV Bill
Kevin Thomas' commentary on the swell, new federal cable TV regulations (Spet. 12) was right on the money, but a year late.
For me, this whole debacle has been a poignant reminder of last fall's presidential campaign. As George Bush's Maryland press secretary, I can vividly recall the cable TV debate. It was divisive and dirty. George Bush vetoed the bill, and was raked over the proverbial coals for it. Obviously, his veto was overridden by a rebellious Congress.
And one of the leaders of the "consumer protection" corps was none other than Sen. Al Gore, now the vice president of the United States.
All I can say is this: If you like the cable TV regulations, you'll love it when he reinvents government.
Carol A. Arscott
To Principal Thomas Brown and the entire staff at Talbott Springs Elementary School:
As the new school year gets under way, we, the parents and students of Talbott Springs Elementary School, wish to say "thank you" -- for providing a nurturing and outstanding learning environment for our children; for your unwavering support of the children of TSES; for the enthusiastic encouragement each one of them receives every day, and for the smiles and the laughter and the joy.
We appreciate each and every one of you at Talbott Springs Elementary School for the teaching you do and the care you give to our children.
The writer is corresponding secretary of the Parent-Teacher-Student Association of Talbott Springs Elementary School.
Suspensions And Race
I have just finished reading an article in The Sun entitled "Black Suspensions Worry Schools" (Sept. 27). Enough is enough! As a parent and a taxpayer . . . , I feel compelled to speak out against what I believe is the flawed logic practiced and preached by the black educators in our school system. The common tread of this so-called logic is to hold everybody responsible for a student's behavior except the student.
I find it outrageous for someone to suggest that a teacher should find ways to amuse and coddle a disruptive child of any race rather than letting that child know in no uncertain terms that disruptive behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. . . .
Consider the statement attributed to Lynne Newman, with the school department's Black Student Achievement Program: "We need to start looking at suspensions not so much as a children's problem, but as an adult problem." Or . . . Jacqueline Brown, human relations coordinator for Howard County schools: "In many cases suspensions result from a clash of cultures and from school personnel inexperienced in dealing with black students."
Come on! We are all Americans and each responsible for our actions. Our teachers are not baby-sitters. . . . If children are not taught at an early age that they will be held accountable for their actions, then when should they be taught. I believe that most, if not all, of the violent crime committed today is the result of society not holding people responsible for their actions.
James A. Dolphin
I found Lan Nguyen's article concerning the increase in the suspension of black elementary students alarming. Ms. Nguyen states that 52 percent of the students that are involved in incidents which lead to suspension are black.
. . . Why do you use blacks as an example? Why should you use any race as an example? Should the fault of a couple of individuals reflect an entire culture? I think not. Why illustrate the percentage of students suspended by race? Why segregate students by race when you can illustrate a rise in suspension as a whole? This just falsely represents black students. Are we not all created equal? It seems that we should be alarmed at the rise in school suspensions as a whole.
Another fact that I found disturbing was to read about how the school system has tried to reduce black student suspensions. . . . If one is to act out of line, it is of their own actions, not of others' . . . One must be judged for their character, not their culture.