Search the Baltimore County community newspaper archives

>> Click here to search for stories published AFTER 2011

>> Use this search box to find stories published prior to 2011.
Note: All Words is a more strict search. Implied operator is "AND."
Ex: Charles Dickens"

subscriber services email print comment

It’s been four months since the “Drama Therapy” performance at Havre de Grace High School raised controversy and concern, and some parents are still dissatisfied with the school system’s response.

And, at least one school board member is acknowledging “mistakes were made” in how the program was presented.

Six parents, some who have been involved with the issue since December, attended Monday’s Harford County Board of Education meeting to once again complain about how school officials are addressing their concerns about “Drama Therapy.”

“I am here tonight as a mom — a very frustrated mom who is finding it difficult to find simple answers,” Rachel Tate, who has been before the board several times about the “Drama Therapy” production, said.

The “Drama Therapy” program was performed in December for the student body at-large and the general public, and became the center of controversy after parents complained about the content in the skits, which combine heavy drama and comedy to address issues teens face.

Tate rehashed Monday that she does not have a problem with the student participation in the production, and has not, at any time, asked for any school employees to be fired as one Harford state delegate has requested.

Earlier this year, Havre de Grace parents were able to view what the school system referred to as an unedited taped performance of the “Drama Therapy” production. The tape was from the center camera at the school assembly on Dec. 4, according to Teri Kranefeld, manager of communications.

But, Tate insists the tape provided was not the unedited version.

“HCPS has yet to provide the raw uncut footage,” Tate said.

Tate said she was told there would be missing footage from the taped performance because the camera failed to start; yet the camera was able to capture the opening remarks and first skit.

The same taped version of the performance has been given to Harford’s legislators to view, after it was requested by one of the delegates. Not all of the delegates and senators, however, have viewed the tape. Western Harford Del. J.B. Jennings, who is chairman of Harford’s House delegation, said Monday afternoon he is still waiting to see the tape.

Kimie Ranken, who has also been seeking answers since December, said she also wants parents to be able to view the full-unedited performance.

Ranken also wants future “Drama Therapy” productions to remain as extracurricular events outside of the academic school day.

Ranken said a group of eight parents met with Board of Education President Mark Wolkow and board member Don Osman on Feb. 25.

Ranken said she was shocked by Wolkow’s comment to the parents that there was a “cat and mouse game” taking place.

“There is no time to play games,” Ranken said.

Dawn Hebding also addressed Wolkow’s comment.

“Many parents have been trying since December to have this rectified,” she said. “This is not a game as a board member has referenced. I am troubled by the ignorance that has been shown regarding our children’s welfare.”

Laura Beth Richardson, another concerned parent, said she researched the school’s policy manual, and she concluded the “Drama Therapy” program was not handled correctly.

“This issue has become urgent,” she said. “Many parents, like myself, are beginning to lose faith in the system.”

Richardson said the school system needs to take the high road.

“Take responsibility for any oversights,” she said.

Tate requested that the “Drama Therapy” issue be placed on the agenda for the next school board meeting so the board members themselves are able to respond to the parents’ comments.

Two board members, however, went against the standard protocol and addressed the parents at Monday’s meeting.

“Mistakes were made,” board member Alysson Krchnavy said. “I certainly have read and seen every comment.”

As a parent of children in the school system, Krchnavy said she knows there are no “do-overs” for her kids.

“I am sorry that it happened,” she said. “I know we can do better and the administration wants to do better. From where I sit, I hear you. So please, let’s come together and get this right for our kids.”

Osman, a retired HHS teacher, echoed Krchnavy’s comments.

“I know that the people of Havre de Grace know where I stand,” he said. “Working with the administration and members of the community, we will solve this problem.”

user comments (0)




Baltimore Sun: Baltimore breaking news, sports, business, entertainment, weather and traffic

Democratic U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume took to Twitter to say his challenger doesn’t know Baltimore, doesn’t live in the city — and that she misspelled Baltimore in a widely viewed campaign ad.

About six months ago, the effects of the coronavirus killed two Marylanders. Those deaths now represent the first of what has grown to more than 3,700 virus-related fatalities in the state.

A representative for the adult entertainment company that owns Dick’s Last Resort said the recent closure of the brash restaurant and bar’s Baltimore location had less to do with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic than with the city itself.

Brandon Higgs was sentenced to 25 years in prison on hate crime and manslaughter charges.

America’s national parks aren’t short on natural beauty, especially in the fall. If you love soaking up the season by enjoying colorful fall foliage, here are gorgeous photos that capture the season across America’s amazing national parks.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed crowded conditions and health risks faced by Mexican crab pickers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, according to a new report.

Walter Cole, who taught and coached at Frederick Douglass, Northern and Carver Vocational Technical high schools, has died at 81.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, on the national political stage, calls for bipartisanship in Washington, and that's a worthy strategy. But he has a tendency to blame both sides instead of calling out either Republicans or Democrats when one is clearly to responsible for a political dilemma or failure.

Ten Maryland schools received the award this year, among them were six public schools and four parochial schools.

The Ravens are set to face their toughest matchup of the season in the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Who holds the edge?

The Baltimore County executive has nominated Maryland's former Labor Secretary to lead the County’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development.

Officials believe the rise in the number of unvaccinated children in the city is due to the coronavirus.

Baltimore County Police are investigating three reports of a man attempting to spray an unknown substance on women at grocery stores in Owings Mills, officials said.

As a Baltimore native, I couldn’t be more proud of my hometown’s support of its players and their choice to protest. For far too long, we’ve expected players to be grateful for the opportunity to play, at the expense of their right to engage on issues affecting the very communities that cheer them on every week.


Hall of Fame

The 2020 Baltimore Sun Business and Civic Hall of Fame inductees are the fifth group to be recognized for achievements in business, philanthropy, public service, education, the arts and more.


Picturing Maryland is a new visual feature that showcases faces, places and events happening around us.