In Defense Of Wilde LakeThe Howard County...


In Defense Of Wilde Lake

The Howard County Board of Education in its Oct. 12 hearing agreed not to build additional seats while seats were available at another school. Therefore, two days later they voted down the proposed $4 million addition to Centennial High School.

Bob Kaufman of Dorsey Hall in the village of Dorsey Search (Columbia Flier, Oct. 21) says Dorsey Hall . . . wants to say in "our school" (Centennial), therefore the county's taxpayers should build an addition to keep Dorsey Hall there.

My family moved into the Longfellow community in 1984 to be in the Centennial district. The children from our neighborhoods have gone to Centennial since it opened its doors. . . .

We were redistricted by the board last March to relieve the overcrowding at Centennial. We were redistricted into Wilde Lake, because there was excess capacity at that school and we are contiguous to that district. When our children go to Wilde Lake next September, there will still be excess capacity. The board needs to plan and decide which students to redistrict to make Wilde Lake a first-class large high school. . . .

Dorsey Hall wants to remain at Centennial, maybe it can convince the board to redistrict other Centennial students to the seats the taxpayers have already paid for.

Jim Harkness


There has been an air of excitement in the Longfellow community all summer at the prospect of attending a soon-to-be rebuilt and enlarged Wilde Lake High School. In fact, some of our students eligible to attend Centennial opted to attend Wilde Lake this year under its open enrollment plan. My four children will be attending there from 1996 through the year 2010.

How fortunate that the new proposal to increase the capacity at Wilde Lake to 1,400 students can solve so many of this county's programmatic and overcrowding problems at the high school level. . . . In this climate of budgetary constraints and overcrowding, none of these student spaces can remain unfilled. . . .

Last spring's redistricting controversies should have been a "teachable moment" for all of us. Some school board members spoke eloquently about the need for socio-economic and cultural diversity when schools are redistricted in Howard County. Unfortunately, by voting to remove Longfellow from Centennial High School, the board deepened the imbalance there. . . .

Although, my husband and I are committed to providing our energies and resources to Wilde Lake High School for the next 17 years, parents cannot do it alone. The school board must relieve the overcrowding at Centennial by filling the additional student spaces at Wilde Lake, which will allow us to compete on equal footing academically and athletically with other county high schools. . . .

Rachel E. Pappafotis


Boredom Leads Kids To Booze

As a high school student, I was not surprised in the least at the results of the survey mentioned in your Sept. 28 article entitled, "Alcohol, drug survey startles school officials."

Although I do not drink, the majority of my friends do. I find that in most cases, peer pressure is a very small factor in a kid's decision to drink; instead, they drink for the lack of anything better to do. Howard County is a fabulous area if you are looking for friendly people, great parks and good schools. But it is lacking in one very important thing: cheap entertainment. Kids can only take so much of watching rented videos, hanging out at the mall, and spending time with the same crowd, doing the same thing, and playing the same games every time they have a free evening. This can make things like alcohol and drugs look appealing.

We hear of the wild parties where more than half of the kids got drunk and supposedly had the time of their lives. It doesn't matter that they didn't remember anything the next day, or that they all woke up feeling like the living dead; it was something to do. What we need are different options and ideas of things to do. I think that we need to have more opportunities for kids to meet kids from different areas of Howard County. The teen dances at local schools and sports clubs are not enough. . . . I have the same problem that most kids have: I've run out of ideas.

Amy Sehman

Ellicott City

Gridiron Girl

I thoroughly enjoyed your article entitled, "A Howard County First; Girl, 15, to Play Football." (Sept. 21).

As a high school student, I have mixed feelings about girls playing on male sports teams, especially in football.

On one hand, I feel that females should be permitted to participate in male sports. Angela Wise should not be the only female to play on a varsity football team. This problem could be solved by creating female football teams, as well as female teams in other sports now played only by males.

However, I do understand why some people are opposed to this. Not only will Angela Wise be taken less seriously than males on her team, she will be ridiculed by opponents, etc. It is possible that she will be hurt more than a male player because opponents will want to show her that football is a male sport.

Katie McErlean



I am writing in response to your article on beepers (Sept. 23). I have been attending high school in Howard County for three years and I have never heard of this law. Just recently at the school I attend, two students were arrested for the possession of beepers. This came as a shock to me and most of the other students because the administration had never informed us of this law. It is not written in our student handbooks and has not been publicized in any other way.

I believe that the sentencing of any student carrying a beeper is unjust if he is not even aware that such a law exists. Our school systems should do more to inform us of the laws that affect us.

Lisen Miller


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