Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Baltimore County Schools Attempts to End Catonsville 4th of July Celebration

Catonsville is used to being treated as second class to Towson, but a decision by Baltimore County Public Schools, no stranger to arrogance and neglect of the spirit of county communities, has made a move to rip the heart and soul out of Catonsville’s spirit of the community, it’s 4th of July celebration.

Baltimore County has no incorporated towns, no government below the level of the county government. Even worse, the school system is not locally led. Board members are political appointments made by the Governor of Maryland having no allegiance to the community they have been appointed to serve.

For generations, Catonsville has had a glorious small town 4th of July celebration which is not only an event enjoyed by members of the Baltimore western suburb and its surrounding communities like Arbutus, Westview, and Ellicott City, it is also a rare phenomenon in Baltimore County that truly promotes a true sense of community.

The annual events include one of the region’s most festive parades but then additional activities: games, concerts, picnics, and even a (gross!) hot dog eating contest culminating with a fireworks display. The event has been held on the campus of Catonsville High School campus a few blocks south of Fredrick Avenue, Catonsville’s Main Street.

Alas, the potentates of Greenwood high on the hill in their west Towson mansion have decreed a new land use policy which would exclude school property being used for such community events. Somehow this unwarranted decision hits especially hard since it destroys a community’s celebration of something as all-American as Independence Day, but given the political leanings of the radically leftwing school system, this should come as no surprise. Look at their curriculum and see how “all-American” it fails to be.

How typical this is of Baltimore County Schools whose gerrymandered boundaries can have children attending an elementary school in one neighborhood being shipped elsewhere for Middle School where most kids would feed into one high school only to be sent some place else for high school. The attitude to parents, local businesses, and even the county government smacks of arrogance and elitism at every turn.

It’s time not only the residence of Catonsville who have long suffered as a second class community in the eyes of the Towson elites rise up and challenge the school board, not only on this horribly insensitive decision, but many other issues that the school system stuffs down the throats of Baltimore county students and residents.

By the way, this writer has spent most of his life in the York Road corridor as a matter of full disclosure.

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