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letters to the editor 4/1

April 01, 2002

A little accuracy would be a nice change

To the editor:

Pam Newhouse's letter to the editor, dated March 27, is based on comments she received from an unnamed source. This is the second time that Newhouse has acted rashly and accused board members falsely based on inaccurate information.

On the first occasion, after realizing the information was false, Newhouse admitted she had made a mistake and apologized profusely. She promised us that in the future she would attempt to validate and corroborate the veracity of any information she received prior to taking action.

Unfortunately, Newhouse failed to keep her promise and has repeated her mistake. If she had taken the time to ask either of us, she would have learned that although we did speak with two Eastern parents about moving additional students to Funkstown, neither of us said that Funkstown School or community refused to take additional students. In fact, it was one of the Eastern parents who told us that the Board had moved the "wrong students out of Eastern."

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Even the parent who spoke with Ms. Newhouse told us that she had only shared in passing her perception of the meeting and that Ms. Newhouse distorted her views and made an issue of something that she herself did not consider important.

We do agree with Newhouse that the Funkstown community has been very gracious and open during the redistricting process. They are to be commended. It is our hope that every school community would embrace all children, regardless of race or socio-economic status, and educate them to their fullest potential.

Finally, in her closing comments in her letter, Newhouse chastises the board members and warns them not to "spread false information." Newhouse should listen to her own advice.

Bernadette M. Wagner

Roxanne Ober

Washington County School Board




Indian heritage must be remembered

To the editor:

There is a part of our local history that has been buried and forgotten. I can understand why. A PBS documentary on Will Rogers stated that during the 1800s, the government required any who was one fourth Indian or more to move West. His family had to relocate. My grandmother grew up in Luckets, Va., near the Potomac River. Her ancestors arrived in the area in the late 1600s. Local history says there was a band of friendly Indians in the area. A relative has told me that she suspects one of our ancestors to be Indian. Of course, she also stated there was no way to prove this.

What I do know is my grandmother had very high cheekbones and lovely skin. My skin changes with the seasons instead of solely by the sun. Like a chameleon my skin becomes darker as spring begins. I have another family member who has commented she has noticed the same about herself.

When I stand on the bank of the Potomac River and look out I feel like I am home. I love to be outside on a pleasant windy day and feel my spirit soar with the wind. I have been raised as a Christian but feel ties to a spiritual world that I do not quite understand but has often sent me messages and signs.

The point to all this? I believe the reason we are so attached to our respectable Indian mascot symbols is because it is the only part of our local Indian heritage that I know to exist other than artifacts.

Unlike those today who can claim to know an Indian heritage and background, local Indians in this area had theirs stolen and learned to fit in to survive. It would be a shame to think this forgotten heritage cannot be remembered by using the symbol of an Indian chief as a school mascot.

Bonnie Dunkley

Brunswick, Md.

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