LETTER: Calvert Redistricting: Teach Your Children Well - Southern Maryland Headline News

LETTER: Calvert Redistricting: Teach Your Children Well


The on-going issue between the Calvert County Public Schools and parents and neighborhoods associated with a redistricting decision has been bothering me lately. I have been a resident of Calvert County for many years. I have watched our county grow from a sleepy place, to one commuter’s into Washington DC have come to love and enjoy also. One thing is certain, our school system can not be run like it was 40 years ago.

I remember making calls to friends asking to use their addresses, and creatively selecting the right before and after school daycare to have my children enrolled in the school I thought best. I was circumventing the rules and I knew it. As I look back to what I did, it makes me sad. I showed my young children how to bend the rules and take advantage of the system all to allow my children a better education. Not only did I show them how to break the rules, but I also taught them a lesson that they were somehow more important than other children in the community.

When I was recently having coffee with one of my children, the redistricting decision and the people using daycare addresses to change their school assignment came up. To hear my child speak about the RIGHT of being able to choose the school she selects for her daughter, independent of their home address, to bend the rules, and to fudge the paperwork, it breaks my heart. I allowed this to happen and I taught my child this behavior. I knew it was wrong back then, but who was going to say anything? After all, we weren’t hurting anyone. In retrospect I hurt my children and other's children who may have been redistricted because of my children attending the wrong school.

I want my fellow citizens to understand that teaching our children how to take advantage of a public school system is wrong. The people, who were legally residing in their school assignment area, and removed because of people like me cheating the system, deserve to be placed back in their schools. Those of us who used creative means should re-evaluate our behavior.

I want to ask Jack Smith to re-evaluate his rules with changing schools and to work it out with this group of parents justifiably irritated with those of us who cheated them out of their school. We should show our new residents a little respect. We could learn something from them. To all of you people displaced because those of us cheating the system, I want to say I am sorry.

J. Gifford
Port Republic, Md.

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