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Letters to the Editor

October 24, 2007

Use arts school money for county's sports programs instead

To the editor:

I read the article on the school events attendance policy that appeared in the Oct. 15 edition of The Herald-Mail with curiosity and outrage. I am curious as to why the woman in the photograph accompanying the story was shown stamping someone's hand when the new policy states that no one is allowed to leave once he or she has entered.

If this is the case, why then the hand stamp? Here is a thought: If some people are breaking the law by drinking or smoking in the parking lot, then call the police and have the guilty parties arrested. Don't punish the rest of us who would like to fetch coats from or return cameras to our cars.

I am outraged that the board would even consider raising the ticket price to high school sporting events. The Hagerstown Suns charge $7 for general admission; will a ticket to a high school game soon cost as much or more than a ticket to a professional game? With a $55-per-sport transportation fee and contributions to the booster clubs, not to mention the taxes that parents pay, the very existence of an admission fee is tantamount to an extortion charge to watch our own children play; children for whom we must also purchase specific footwear, color-coordinated sweats and shirts that coaches or the weather often demand, and other equipment necessary to play a sport.

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Far more students would benefit from a properly financed sports program than from a school for the arts. I suggest that money be diverted from the 5 percent of the students who will avail themselves of the arts school and put it toward benefiting the 50-plus percent of students and parents (i.e. taxpayers) who participate in the sports programs.

One money-saving tip that the board may not have considered, as it reeks of common sense: Don't schedule games against opponents such as South Carroll that require 100-mile round trips.

Austin Gisriel
Williamsport

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