Britain's Example on School Uniforms
I wholeheartedly support the introduction of uniforms into the Anne Arundel County public schools. As an educator who has worked in private and public schools here and abroad, I've observed the impact that they have on individuals and the school environment.
I believe they can increase self-esteem by giving a child a sense of belonging and decrease certain discipline problems. They also make society more aware of children in their midst, especially on the roads. If the retail industry in the area is cooperative, they can also reduce the cost of clothing for a family and reduce the parent-child bickering that occurs over "what to wear" as well.
In Great Britain, children in a region equivalent to this side of the country all wear essentially the same thing. Badges and ties designed by the individual school differentiated one group from the another.
Every department store competed for the uniform trade, so prices were kept down. Older siblings could pass on uniforms to younger ones, and every school had a consignment shop for bargain uniforms and a supply of free uniforms for those who needed them. If children moved from one school to another, they simply replaced the badges and ties. "Mufti" days, on which children donated money to a charity to have the opportunity to not wear their uniforms, were special fun occasions.
Uniforms play a significant role in various sectors of society. I do not believe that being required to wear a uniform impinges on individual rights. It simply says this is the role I have now, or the job I have to do, and wearing these clothes are part of it.
I urge you to support introducing uniforms into the county's schools.
Spanish over French
It is encouraging that the county school system is considering a pilot foreign language immersion program.
This will permit our citizens to be more competitive and more comfortable in a world environment that is contracting so rapidly. This writer's view is that each citizen should know a second language.
Unfortunately, if there is to be such a program, it appears that the decision has already been made that the foreign language will be French. It is true that a goal is to make our citizens more cosmopolitan. But at the same time, we could be more practical.
Spanish would help us enhance our local friendships with the Hispanic community in the Baltimore-Annapolis-D.C. triangle. Why not be better prepared to communicate both with the world community and local community?
Bill D. Burlison
Innocent Until . . .
I do not know if John Merzbacher is innocent or guilty but what I am confused about is the following:
On TV, a lady was interviewed. She was one of the jurors. She said she knew that John Merzbacher was guilty as soon as the trial started.
I thought jurors were not supposed to form an opinion until they heard both sides: the defense and the prosecutor.
We use the word "commitment" many times without recognizing the gravity of the term.
When we were in school, we made a commitment that we would NTC complete the work assigned to us and attempt to perform to the best of our ability. At the altar, we made a commitment to our spouse to build a relationship at home, in church, in our community that we planned to keep.
Our work and professional lives also call for commitment (dedication) to help our company grow and prosper, so that we and our families will have a secure and satisfying life in our community.
What is "community commitment"? . . . If we are seen as community leaders who care enough to give time and talent -- and financial support when possible -- then we are truly committed, because we love our community and know that our lives are centered around family, church and community.
Now that you have organized your time and developed your talent, I cannot think of a better place to use them than in the local improvement association, where decisions are made that affect our community.
You can become part of this decision-making process by joining your local improvement association. . . .
William N. Hubbard
The staff of the Learning Center would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the concerned citizens of Anne Arundel County who contributed cash register receipts to our school.
Due to your thoughtfulness and consideration, we were able to acquire new computer hardware, software, audio-visual equipment, science and social studies instructional materials and physical education equipment.
Without this community effort, we would not have been able to achieve the success that we did.
The writer is principal of the Anne Arundel County Learning Center.