Letters to the Editor 4/9

April 09, 2001

Letters to the Editor 4/9

Opinions aren't grounds for attack

To the editor:

On Feb. 21, The Herald-Mail printed a letter titled: "Police were in the right" in response to a letter to the editor printed Feb. 15. This is without a doubt the most venomous letter that I have ever read. The writer, Dennis P. Leatherman, obviously abhors lawyers and investigators.

Yes, let's look at the facts. The writer of that original letter is merely stating his opinion of alternate theories of what may or could have happened that fateful day. He did not mention names. He did not make personal remarks about any one person.

Mr. Leatherman, in order to satisfy you, I suppose the reporting should have been "doped up teenager looking for police car to strike."


I can see what his agenda is. He has contempt for anyone who expresses an opinion contrary to his own.

Mr. Leatherman, are you not humane enough to realize there are two families grieving, or were you biased by the news coverage?

I only pray that with your attitude you are not involved in law enforcement, or God help us all.

K.P. Brooks


Be careful with consolidation

To the editor:

Years ago S.O.S. used to mean "save out souls" and you would hear it when people where in trouble. Well, the meaning still holds true today, except in Washington County it's not just souls we are trying to save, it's schools. What makes matters worse is that some of the most confusing talk is coming from some of the most educated people.

Let's see if I can get this straight from the various newspaper articles that I have seen. We can close Cascade, Winter Street, Conococheague, Maugansville and Funkstown elementary school (that's five total) and that will save us $1.6 million. Then we can build one new school at a cost of $11 million, for the children from Conococheague, Maugansville and a few from Cearfoss. And the students from Cascade, Winter Street and Funkstown will be bused to existing schools. Oh yes, the buses, since we are now busing the students farther around the county - does anybody factor in the extra buses, gas, maintenance and drivers that we will need?

I know what the school board will say: "You just don't see the whole picture." Well, maybe they're right, I never was that good with math, so let's just look at it all for a minute.

First, let's look at the schools. What is wrong with these five schools? Can it really take more than $11 million to renovate them all and bring them up to a year 2000 standard? I mean, after all, we can build just one for $11 million. Are they in a bad location? I would not think so, or the board would not have put them there in the beginning. In fact, isn't each one in the middle of a tight-knit community?

Speaking of location, has anybody noticed all the new subdivisions going up in Washington County? I always thought one of the big factors in buying a new house was how close is it to the schools. Now you want to move the schools? Also when these subdivisions fill with new students, and overflow the existing schools, will we then try to open a school that has been closed or will we just build another $11 million new one?

Second, let's look at the students. What are the class sizes in these five schools? If you say, "they are not as full as we like," well, isn't that a good thing? Now the teacher can spend some extra time with each student. If you say, "The class is overfull," then why close the school? Speaking of overfull class, will the existing schools be able to take the extra students that each class will get without having more than 25 students in each classroom? If this happens, won't the students education suffer as well as the teachers nerves? What about the extra teachers from the school closings?

Now, just for a minute, let's think with our heads and not our wallets. The elementary school year is when the real core of the students' learning begins. Basic math, language and social skills are developed in the first few years in school. As a parent, do you want to take a chance on your child's education or safety to save a few dollars?

As an employer, how much can you afford to pay to teach a high school graduate the things that he missed in elementary school? This is one of those problems that affects everybody's future no matter what color or class and with or without children. You should not try to fix something that is not broken.

Richard Gaver


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