There High Point Senior High School students chastized the Prince George's County Council this week, telling the council that its members were "rude," "too political" and "did not pay attention" to people or the issues before them.
Seniors Pam Peterson and Jose Loys and sophomore Billy Brockway, all of Beltsville, spoke before the council at a public hearing on a bill establishing rules of procedure for the council.
The three were council pages for one week in late January and said they "were not impressed" by their visit.
Peterson said she was "especially upset" when the council "ignored testimony given by the New Carrollton Mayor Jordan Harding. After all, it was a mayor talking and not everyone was paying attention."
Brockway told the members he didn't think Council Member Darlene White "was too adult" when "she couldn't get a piece of legislation introduced on the agenda so she threw down her pencil and stalked out."
"Council Chairman Francis White told us that council members work together for the good of the community by hearing people out," said Paterson. "But when Harding was speaking, White got up and went to get a cup of coffee."
Peterson, who appeared completely unintimidated when questioned by council members about her comments, said she was glad of the opportunity "to shake a finger of them. In our student government, the one thing stressed is courtesy, even if you know what the other person is going to say."
Brockway said the students didn't wish to have their comments "taken personally. We just wanted to give a bit of constructive criticism."
Those council members who questioned the three students told them there were "many duties" and "political reasons" for council actions that may not be visible to visitors at the meetings.
I don't agree that politics should have anything to do with it," said Peterson. "These things should be out in the open."
"This whole thing impressed me enough to decide to go into county government and try and stop this," she said.