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Letters to the editor

December 12, 2002

Many opinions were sought



To the editor:


To the parents at Conocoheague Elementary School who took exception to my recent statements:

I won't defend my statements except to say that is my opinion and my perception. I did spend many hours in person - in the redistricting committee meetings and on the phone - with a number of individuals discussing ideas and opinions.

When I met with the parents last spring, I left the group with the suggestion to come up with alternative ideas to closing the school, saying that the community needed to provide an in-depth analysis that might demonstrate to the board and the public that Conococheague should not be considered for closure.

To date, I'm not aware of any alternative proposals or ideas that have been put forward, nor any changes in enrollment or new housing starts or neighborhood changes that might warrant a different staff recommendation.

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There have been numerous occasions since then, as well as public board meetings and the distribution of the Facilities Master Plan, all containing the recommendation to close Conococheague. Again, I am not aware of any new information that has been brought to light by any individuals that would change the recommendation at this point.

If the board chooses to approve a motion to close the school, according to policy, staff will meet with teachers and administration, followed by a public hearing which would be held in January 2003, prior to the board's final decision in February.

Anyone who so wishes would have the opportunity to testify before the board. I can personally quote a parent who said to me "I understand why you're making the decision, but I don't like it." I had no intent to offend anyone in any way. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

For the answers to the redistricting of students or any other questions you may have, please contact Dennis McGee. or Bill Blum, our new chief operating officer, who are charged with the staff recommendation.

Again, there was no intent to deceive anyone! I appreciate your direct communication to me.

Dr. Elizabeth Morgan

Washington County

Superintendent of Schools




Hagerstown: A happy product of two awful wars



To the editor:


I may be writing this letter on Veterans Day, but to me it will always be Armistice Day. Though having been an American citizen since 1950, after marrying an American officer in 1947, World War I made it possible for me to be born.

My parents met at the front, where both were working in communications. My mother was a telephone operator and my father was a soldier in the postal and telegraph service. They married shortly before Nov. 11, 1918.

It is often said that "the war to end all wars" was a bloody conflict. One of my uncles was killed on the Somme, another was gassed in Verdun. When my mother was posted in the small town of Szanne in the Champagne region, she was assigned a room in a local hotel. On entering the room she found the body of a French captain who had committed suicide rather than return to the front.

She had to see to the removal of the body and the cleaning of the room on her own. She was all of 25 at the time. Nov. 11 is not a sales day for me, it is a day when I remember lining the Champs Elyses with my school classmates, right behind the policemen standing very few yards away, during the annual military parade honoring the more than 2.5 million men France lost during that war. It is a day that was totally wiped out during the four years of German occupation after the Nazis blew up the famous railway car in which the Armistice had been signed.

It is sad to say that I owe my present happiness to two world wars.

Mrs. Harold H. Jacobs

Hagerstown

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