Thursday, August 25, 2005

Slipping on the Slope

Montgomery County School Board President Patricia O'Neill
Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Jerry Weast

Dear Patricia and Jerry:

I was excited to read in this morning's (Aigist 25) extra section of the Post that you have decided to put cameras into school buses to stop bullying and other problems. Hurray!

I know that people throughout Montgomery County and the state of Maryland will be excited to learn that you have come up with such an innovative way of stopping transgressions amongst our youth. I do hope that you will soon realize that classrooms, schoolyards, even malls and other venues in our community are also problem areas for young people and should be monitored. Indeed, with recent violent incidents in our community (like those at the Westfield mall in Wheaton), I strongly encourage you to place cameras liberally in our parks and other public locations.

Indeed, why stop with school buses? What about protecting passengers, drivers, and others from disturbances that start on Ride-on buses, Metro cars, sports facilities, bars, banks, stores, streets, and other hotbeds of unrest? Surely you should suggest to the County Executive that video cameras would help crib intimidation, theft, violence, and harassment in these locations. Let's put video cameras everywhere a problem might occur.

Of course there will be pesky believers in civil liberties and privacy who will worry about the creep of cameras into their lives. I'm sure that you can wave away any concerns residents may have about the slippery slope toward state control you're sliding on, after all, Dr. Weast indicated in the Post article indicated that school officials are mindful of trampling personal rights.

Well, as long as you're mindful, bring on the cameras! And if County Executive Doug Duncan approves of your idea, maybe he'll bring it to the whole state.

Yours truly,

Mo Tonguincheek

---posted by OnBackground

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