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Tuesday, December 24, 2013: Student discipline, addiction treatment center


Discipline, no?

Having just finished my first semester at NYU, one question that’s been on my mind is why so many fellow students come from expensive private high schools. But after reading the recent letter to the editor about Maine’s public schools, “School daze,” that question has been answered. These kids were well disciplined. It’s mere coincidence that they were wealthy enough to afford schools that provided them with countless opportunities. Money has nothing to do with it. Opportunities have nothing to do with it. I mean, just look at Laura Ingalls Wilder. She attended a one-room schoolhouse, and she went to Princeton. Or maybe that was someone else.

Point being, living in a shantytown or being impoverished is no excuse for not getting into a prestigious university. The only problem is a lack of discipline. Students clearly have more control than the teachers. When I was at Bangor High we would stage coups d’état on a daily basis, or sit-ins if we were feeling less rambunctious. One year we used our school budget to purchase a guillotine so we could hold mass executions to get rid of anyone who supported the administration, and we elected Fidel Castro as principal. This never would have happened back in the old days.

As stated in the aforementioned letter, the system was fine up until the late 60s. There’s no need to spend money on public schools if we can just reinstitute corporal punishment. What’re a few welts if they get you into Williams?

Emma Howard


Camden zone

I am writing in support of the small zoning change that will allow McLean Hospital to operate a recovery center for about a dozen clients at the Fox Hill property in Camden. I respectfully ask that the Camden Planning Board recommend this change and forward it to the Camden selectmen for inclusion on the June ballot. This is an opportunity for Camden, and it needs to be decided by the voters.

I cannot imagine a better way to preserve the neighborhood around Fox Hill than a facility that depends upon privacy and quiet in order to be successful. The financial benefits, both direct and indirect, will help all residents and local business owners. In addition, the reputation of McLean — the No. 1 rated behavioral health hospital in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report, will only add to the stature and prestige of Camden. From my reading of the comprehensive plan it, to me, clearly supports making this zoning change in order to continue to develop financial opportunity for all Camden residents.

I have spent 35 years in the substance abuse arena, and I’m pleased to understand that the Camden area spends thousand of dollars each year in addiction prevention, but I believe there is a greater need for more spending in the area. McLean has shown through the years to contribute to prevention services in communities where they are located.

This additional McLean outreach and education has a direct health and financial benefit for Camden and for all the midcoast. The youngsters as well as grownups through McLean’s outreach and education can’t help become more aware that alcohol and drug addiction is a disease that can be treated and prevented. What a great loss it would be if we pass up this opportunity for a public vote.

Philip Montgomery


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