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To all the parents who don’t want their kids to go to Wilde Lake: It is a good high school

2012 Wilde Lake High graduate Julia Singleton hugs her 4-year-old cousin, Jackson Moon, before the school's graduation ceremony. Some students feel that the high school is being unfairly criticized in the Howard County school redistricting debate.
2012 Wilde Lake High graduate Julia Singleton hugs her 4-year-old cousin, Jackson Moon, before the school's graduation ceremony. Some students feel that the high school is being unfairly criticized in the Howard County school redistricting debate. (Staff Photo by Brian Krista)

As a Wilde Lake High School student, I have been concerned by the recent Baltimore Sun coverage of the Howard County redistricting plan (“Howard County’s redistricting plan: Progress but not pain-free,” Sept. 10). My family moved to Howard County when I was in seventh grade after returning from living abroad. We had temporarily rented a house in the Harper’s Choice Middle School district without looking at the school, but we quickly grew to love it.

In fact, we loved the school so much that we chose to buy a house in the Longfellow, Harper’s Choice, Wilde Lake school district. It was an unconventional decision. All three have high poverty rates and low test results, often being attacked as “bad” schools. But after actually attending them, I can confidently say otherwise.

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When I see signs around Howard County saying things like “improve, not move,” I’m both angry and indignant. Implying that my school is inferior isn’t only offensive, it also ignores the truth of Wilde Lake. Teachers I had as a freshman greet me by name in the hall. One has edited countless scholarship essays for me, yet another gives up her weekends to judge speech competitions despite not getting paid. They care about students as people beyond how many AP classes we’re taking or what our SAT scores are.

Throughout this redistricting process, people have treated going to my school as a punishment, but for me, it’s been a privilege. Economic inequality is a huge issue in Howard County, and I, for one, am excited that Superintendent Michael Martirano is taking steps to address it. However, I’ve been shocked by the ignorant and intolerant speech embraced by adults online, especially in the Facebook group mentioned in your article. Perhaps if they’d attended a school like Wilde Lake they wouldn’t be quite so closed-minded toward the incredible opportunities that economic diversity has to offer.

Rebecca Nason, Howard County

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