School food fight not newsworthy

The Baltimore Sun

The parents of students at Wilde Lake High School who went to the press ("School offered $30 for names," The Sun, Jan. 10) with the story of the food fight should be ashamed of the example they have set for their children. They have taught them not to address things directly, but rather to go to the press with their grievances. Neither the food fight nor the "aftermath" was significant or newsworthy events at Wilde Lake High School.

I have two sons, a junior and a senior in the school. Both are outraged that anyone would involve the press in this matter, provide one-sided information and damage the reputation of their school. Unfortunately, Wilde Lake is not afforded the same kind of publicity when they run a blood drive, a food drive, or register their eligible voters.

There is no place I would rather have had my children attend than Wilde Lake High School. Mr. Whitaker [Principal Restia Whitaker] has been an admirable and tireless leader of the school. Wilde Lake is a remarkable community, one that I have been grateful to have my children involved with.

The staff at Wilde Lake has done an incredible job stimulating their minds and strengthening their moral compasses. My senior is the vice president of the Student Government Association. He has never walked out of a meeting with the administration where mutual respect has not been shown. His discussions with him included this issue, and he left them satisfied that he had been listened to.

Let me be clear. I do not think it is a good idea to pay students to provide information. Given that law enforcement does it regularly, it is hardly unpalatable to our society, and people regularly differ on what methods are appropriate. The incident is hardly newsworthy, and is something that should have been resolved within our school, and with maturity. Instead, the press has been manipulated in an untenable manner by a small minority of parents who have an agenda that is much larger than this food fight.

Lauren Martin


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