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School board candidates talk issues

October 26, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - The Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum Wednesday for six candidates competing for three seats on the Washington County Board of Education.

About 100 people attended the event at Four Points Sheraton on Dual Highway.

Here is a look at the candidates' stances on several issues.

· Paul W. Bailey, 72, Hagerstown

Teen pregnancy: Continue to have family life courses in middle and high schools. Involve the faith community and others. The males are just as accountable as the females.

School security: Do not want to see schools become compounds. Hired a safety/security officer. Schools are a hub for community activity, and don't want to change that. Need to increase awareness by students. It's a team effort.

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· Ruth Anne Callaham, 57, Hagerstown

Teen pregnancy: Students should not have to ask to get answers. They should be given the information about the risks to make good choices. Supports partnerships with businesses and the health department.

School security: Portable classrooms and buses are detached from the schools and create security risks. Should be intercoms in the portables that go to the main office. Possibly increase police patrols around schools.

· Jacqueline B. Fischer, 60, Clear Spring

Teen pregnancy: A societal problem. Needs to be addressed at home and school. Supports more after-school and weekend programs for students, so they have alternate things to do.

School security: Fast-tracked plans for added security, like cameras and intercoms. Students should report suspicious activity. Supports a security officer at every school, but that would cost more than $1 million. Would have to eliminate programs to do that.

· Wayne M. Kretzer Jr., 38, Hagerstown

School security: Parents should volunteer to watch the front doors at schools. Bullying needs to be reported because it leads to violence in the schools. Teachers and students need to report things they see at the schools.

Role in work force development: The role of the school system is to prepare students to succeed. Need people out there who can work with their hands. Need students coming out of school skilled in the trades.

· Virginia Powers, 46, Hagerstown

Role in work force development: Schools responsible for preparing students. Decision to increase skilled trades courses in the county will require community input from businesses and student interest.

School security: Cannot have a school that is both secure and parent-friendly. Should be intercoms so visitors announce themselves before coming into the schools, and possibly metal detectors.

· William H. Staley, 62, Hagerstown

Role in work force development: Most jobs in the future will be in the hand skills. All but four of the skilled trades were shut down and replaced with computer courses. Should bring back trades to prepare students for jobs.

School security: Secretaries are checking in visitors and monitoring who comes in the front door. Should be changed. Schools should be designed with the main office at the front. Many of the county's schools are not designed that way.

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