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Why schools must impose disciplineI read with...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Why schools must impose discipline

I read with interest the letter June 27 by David Glazier, "Policy doesn't make sense to suspended teen." I can see why Baltimore County's discipline policy does not make sense to him.

First, Mr. Glazier left the school grounds to go home during the middle of the day to complete a homework assignment due the next period. Doesn't he realize homework is to be completed at home during non-school hours?

The assignment should have been completed at home the night before it was due. You do not take "time off" during the school day to complete homework.

Second, when he is in school, his safety is the responsibility of the school he attends and the Baltimore County Board of Education. By leaving the school grounds during the school day without permission, he was not allowing the school system to fulfill its obligation.

I am sure if Mr. Glazier was injured during his "time off," the school board would have been questioned by the media, not to mention legal action.

Third, Mr. Glazier talks about his activities on the day he was suspended. He stated a more appropriate punishment would have been detention during non-school hours.

It is obvious he did not take his suspension too seriously, because he felt his offense was not serious enough to warrant it. Therefore, what makes you think he would take detention seriously?

He should not have been given the opportunity to make up the work he missed. He should not have received credit for the work he missed and the homework assignment he went home to do. That action would not have been fair to the students who completed the work when they were supposed to do it.

I found it ironic this letter appeared the same day as an article concerning a report on violent behavior in Baltimore County public schools. The report gave recommendations for ensuring student safety.

Mr. Glazier stated that "removing students from situations that may be dangerous makes sense." He needs to realize he placed himself in a dangerous situation by his actions, and therefore, needed an appropriate reprimand. The school took this action to ensure Mr. Glazier's safety in the future.

Carolyn Dickerson

Abingdon

The end of local programming on WJHU

The headline on Laura Lippman's story said it well: On June 23, classical music died on WJHU. I feel much of the station's character was assassinated.

Daytime classical music on weekdays was eliminated, and Sunday classical music lost its best show, Ray Sprenkle's "On Music."

What the article did not mention was that, in one fell swoop, WJHU listeners lost virtually every bit of locally produced programming with the exception of Marc Steiner's interesting show and Andy Bienstock's excellent jazz coverage.

This is just the culmination of a trend that started several years ago. Back then, WJHU was a station with a very strong identity.

It pioneered the two-week "quiet drive" twice a year, spending no more than a few minutes per hour to appeal for listener memberships and never interrupting news shows to do so.

It produced two shows relayed nationwide, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra broadcast, and Soundprint, an award-winning radio documentary that has become an example for National Public Radio.

On the news side, it relayed brief BBC news on weekend afternoons at 4, a welcome complement to the newscasts produced by NPR.

In the last three years, we have lost the production of the BSO broadcast to WETA, and that of Soundprint to WAMU (both in D.C.). The BBC news simply disappeared (the hour show from 5 to 6 weekday mornings is highly repetitive, no equivalent).

And the quiet drive was exchanged for the more lucrative but infinitely more obnoxious nagging and hostage-taking that public broadcasters call "fund-raising."

To be sure (Ray Sprenkle's phrase, now sadly missed), there has been some benefit in exchange: in particular the Marc Steiner show, produced four evenings a week and covering topics often transcending local interests.

Yet when "All Things Considered" went to a two-hour format, the half hour was tacked on at the expense of Marc's show.

So what did we just get in addition? An extra hour of "Morning Edition" rebroadcast, bringing NPR news from Washington up to six hours; a one-hour midday show of Monitor Radio from Boston (rebroadcast two hours later); another full hour of BBC news and two syndicated two-hour talk shows, from Washington and Philadelphia.

All these could already be heard in Baltimore on WAMU or WETA. It turns out WJHU has not just killed the classical music. It has all but eliminated what made it unique, and will from now on be a mere NPR clone, a duplicate of the two Washington stations, lacking some of their originality.

What to think of the argument that WBJC's classical music has a greater audience? I subscribe to both stations. Yet at least three times out of four, Bill Spencer's and Lisa Simeone's music choices were more appealing to me (less mainstream) that those on WBJC.

During my workday, when news hours and talk shows are not an option, that choice has just been taken away. And when I want to listen to news, does it help to have two or three stations in the Baltimore-Washington area broadcasting the same programs?

lTC If money was the reason, WJHU management could have done better than to ambush the listener. It could have asked for my opinion, or request that I earmark donations for the programs I value most.

Such a programming discussion would have been courageous and a great topic for Marc Steiner.

I happen to donate during the jazz hours. That's when I'm home. I imagine there are many people who do not find time to pledge during work hours or on a weekend.

At the very least, WJHU management was short-sighted to interpret such donation patterns as votes against classical music.

Come the next fund-raiser, it may yet be surprised by the response from listeners like me.

Gislin Dagnelie

Baltimore

Wasn't abortion

Why do the media and President Clinton have such a short memory? Mr. Clinton complained that the only reason that the nomination of Dr. Henry Foster to become surgeon general was defeated was due to his stance on abortion and that this issue should not be a litmus test for qualified applicants.

If memory serves me correctly, Judge Robert H. Bork and every Supreme Court nominee since has been drilled on his or her position on this volatile issue.

Mr. Bork's nomination was eventually defeated due to his pro-life stance. To list the other presidential nominees who were defeated due to their pro-life stance would take too much space.

One must ask, however, why is it acceptable to deny an appointment because of a pro-life position, yet it is a sad day in history when a man is denied due to his pro-choice position?

Dr. Foster was defeated because the Senate has already approved too many of President Clinton's radical appointments -- most notably former Surgeon General M. Joycelyn Elders -- and had the common sense not to make this mistake again.

Abortion was not the issue Republicans used to defeat Dr. Foster. Rather it is the issue President Clinton is using to paint the GOP as a group of radicals because he fears that he, like former President Bush, will also be a one-term president.

Mary M. Shaffrey

Towson

Cost too much

It looks like the tax payer is getting ripped off again (news article, June 26: "$14 million plan for housing announced").

The 150 Nehemiah III homes will each cost more than $93,000 ($14 million divided by 150 homes) to build or renovate, and the owners will still have $55,050 mortgages to contend with. Whose pockets are being lined with the $38,000 per home over the mortgage amount?

The money could be better spent by finding 254 ($14 million divided by $55,050 per home) existing homes and giving them to people like Lenora Fortune.

This way, Ms. Fortune can have her home paid off now instead of when she retires. The vacant homes can be torn down and the land made into parks. Create enough of these parks and you may even entice me to move into the city.

Peter Massaras

Baldwin

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