VIOLENCE prevention has become a top priority in schools across the country. Students at all grade levels at Liberty High School attended a violence-prevention assembly last week to help begin the new year with student safety at the forefront.
MTV and the American Psychological Association produced a series of videos aimed at helping young people recognize signs of potentially violent behavior in themselves and others. One of the videos, "Warning Signs," was viewed by Liberty students.
The video gave a synopsis of two tragic episodes of school violence.
In a shooting in Alaska, a student and a school principal were killed. In the other, a young depressed couple in Georgia took their own lives. Warning signs that preceded each incident were discussed and analyzed in the video.
"It made you think about whether a person close to you is contemplating something serious like this," said Nick Rigby, a freshman. "It was kind of disturbing."
Examining one's own behavior was another of the video's messages. Sophomore Erin Laur said the video made her think about how she wants to treat others.
"Pay more attention to the warning signs and try to be an all-around nicer person," she said.
After the video, members of a countywide drama troupe, "Fool Proof," performed three brief skits focusing on problems teens sometimes face, including bullying and harassment, abusive relationships and depression.
Students had an opportunity to ask questions of the skit's characters and interact within the story lines.
School administrators and guests from the Maryland Psychological Association urged open dialogue about problems and warning signs.
"Communication -- you've got to be able to talk to people about problems," said senior Mike Bowers. "You can't always have it bottled up."
Most students agreed the video and skits made them think about potentially violent situations and how to diffuse or prevent them.
"If you think that someone is going to do something harmful, let someone else know," said junior Jen Reahl.
Pipe band champs
The World Pipe Championships took place in Glasgow, Scotland, last month, and Eldersburg resident Harry Meade was part of the traditional Scottish music and pageantry.
Meade is a snare drummer in the City of Washington Pipe Band, which captured first place in Grade 2 of the competition. The competition has five grades, with Grade 1 being world class. The Washington-area band also won the title of Best Drum Corps.
Meade has been a member of the City of Washington Pipe Band for less than a year. He joined the band last winter after playing for many years in a pipe band based in Columbia.
He credits his father, a former bass drum player, with passing on the love of music and performance.
Meade honed his drumming skills while at Liberty High School and was a drum line instructor for a few years after graduation.
The many hours of practice with the City of Washington has paid off. The band also won the North American Championship competition last month in Ontario, Canada.
The Freedom Force girls' U-13 soccer team will sponsor a Beanie Baby Bingo on Sept. 18 at St. Joseph's Church on Liberty Road. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and games will begin at 7 p.m.
Prizes will include many hard-to-find Beanies, including Flutter the Butterfly.
Refreshments and extra playing cards will be available.
Tickets are $6 in advance and $7 at the door. For tickets or more information, call Terry Holbrook at 410-795-9249 or Jeanne Tighe at 410-549-1223.
Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.
Pub Date: 9/07/99