Letters to the Editor

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

To the Editor:

Although the Anne Arundel County (Md.) school district is to be commended for its "get-tough" approach to drug abuse ("Maryland District's Get-Tough Policy Cited as Model for Drug-Free Schools," Oct. 4, 1989), its policy is not new or innovative.

Many districts have had programs similar to this model since the early 1980's; some of these, in fact, have been around since the late 1970's in northeastern Ohio.

Under the influence of Minneapolis's Community Intervention Program, districts in this area formed a consortium in 1979 to train teacher-intervention teams.

An important part of this program, in addition to a policy stating that the use of illicit chemicals (including alcohol) by students will not be tolerated, is its "community" component. Both parents and other citizens are heavily involved in efforts to educate about and intervene in chemical-abuse problems among youths.

And having been a superintendent in three districts in Ohio and Pennsylvania from 1976 to 1988, I can state that programs essentially the same as Anne Arundel's were implemented in each.

Not only your article, which cites former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett's endorsement of the Anne Arundel program, but also other pronouncements by Mr. Bennett make it sound as though he does not know what school districts have been doing--and are still doing.

In fact, the problem is systemic, with important elements lying deep within the "demand" nature of chemical addiction.

While Mr. Bennett has oversimplified the issue, which cannot be corrected by the schools alone, he could learn a great deal about what has been attempted--and what works.

Further, if he were to urge the use of research-based knowledge concerning some of the correlates of chemical-abuse behavior--for example, early smoking, drinking, latch-key environment--programs would increase their likelihood of success.

William P. Deighan Coordinator Graduate Program in Educational Administration John Carroll University University Heights, Ohio

To the Editor:

Please, Senator Paul Simon, stay away from legislating bills that are supposed to protect me ("Reducing Violence on Television," Commentary, Oct. 4, 1989).

If you really believe in such a simplistic cause-and-effect scenar4io, why not equip prisons and juvenile-detention centers with reruns of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" so that inmates will be cured?

I have read that the murderer David Berkowitz--"Son of Sam"--said that a dog told him to commit atrocities. How about outlawing dogs?

I have also read of some people killing others because, they claimed, God told them to do so. Perhaps what we need to do is outlaw religion.

You and other do-gooder, father-knows-best folks in the Congress should devise fewer bills that affect non-criminals and more that have an impact on criminals.

The best kind of government we could possibly expect from you, and those like you, is less government.

And you really consider yourself a "lifelong civil libertarian"?

Barry J. Koestler Evaluator Board of Education Dayton, Ohio

Education Week takes no editorial positions, but welcomes the opinions, comments and ideas of its readers. You are invited to submit commentary proposals, manuscripts, and letters. They should be addressed to: Commentary, Education Week, 4301 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 250, Washington, D.C. 20008.

Commentary submissions should be typewritten and accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Vol. 09, Issue 08

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >