Still Fighting for Education

I enjoyed reading the articles in the May 13 Prince George's Extra that presented the arguments for and against community schools. When I think about "celebrating" the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, I wonder to myself, "What is there to celebrate?" Yes, it's true we've made some great strides in drawing attention to the issue of "unequal" education, and, for a short while, busing helped with this.

Unfortunately, demographics changed as whites moved out of neighborhoods, and [minorities are] right back where we started. We're still fighting for minimal resources to educate our children as standards and expectations continue to rise. Therefore, I don't believe that returning to busing will solve this problem. As long as people move to other areas when they're unhappy with changing demographics, only a vicious cycle will result.

There are many issues that must be addressed in Prince George's County, which include lack of necessary services to support our children in the older communities such as Landover, Fairmount Heights, Seat Pleasant and Bladensburg -- just to name a few.

As a parent and president of G. James Gholson Middle School PTSA, Landover, I've worked for the past year to get community groups, churches and area businesses involved with this school. To date, very little response. However, next year, I'll work harder and reach out to more.

A special thank-you to Nancy Trejos who took the time to speak to me for one of the articles.

Charlotte Underwood


G. James Gholson PTSA


Keep the Ban on Pit Bulls

Council member Thomas Hendershot (D-New Carrollton) is sponsoring legislation that would in effect lift the ban on pit bulls in Prince George's County.

In April, an 8-year-old boy was killed by his father's pit bulls in North Carolina. To my knowledge, there have been no news accounts of deaths or maulings by these dogs since the current ban went into effect in Prince George's County. However, prior to the law that banned pit bulls, it appeared that nearly every week there was a horror story of a pit bull attack.

There are more children walking to school today than in 1996, and more people are at bus stops. Our top priority should be protecting our children. Mr. Rodney Taylor, chief of the county's Animal Management Division, stated, "It's the people who answer the door, and you end up taking a good pet that hasn't done anything." Surely, Taylor realized a citizen's complaint brought him to that door and those people answering the door are in violation of the law.

The article further stated that the study found that euthanizing, resulting from the pit bull ban, was costing the county many hundreds of thousands of dollars. It did not state how much it cost the county to euthanize stray dogs and cats because of the failure to have animals spayed or neutered.

Protecting the citizens of Prince George's from a pit bull attack should outweigh any savings that may or may not result from lifting the ban on these dogs.

Hendershot is quoted as saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," regarding another piece of legislation. I hope he takes his own advice.

Mrs. Benjamin Whitfield