The Mays Chapel Elementary School ground breaking ceremony held on April 26th, at 10:30 a.m. was an ill-conceived idea on the part of the Baltimore County Public School officials.
Destruction of the Mays Chapel Park to build a school has been controversial among community residents because the park was the only green space left in the area and many residents make use of the park on a daily basis. Other homeowners hope that a state-of-the-art school will help home values increase as parents of elementary school children might want to move into the community.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue, the ground breaking ceremony was unnecessary and did nothing but rub salt in an open wound, thereby creating greater animosity among residents opposing the school and the school board as well as politicians who supported the plan.
One can only guess that the few elementary school children at the ceremony were included to invoke a sense of empathy in the residents. As an observer at the event, the inclusion of children was irresponsible. Since Baltimore County police officers were in attendance, it was obvious that school officials and politicians expected problems. The children didn't understand why some members of the community were opposed to the school and it was clear that they were confused and upset.
When some of the Mays Chapel residents began chanting, "Save our park. Save our park," Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz added fuel to the fire by screaming at them to stop acting like children.
It is unclear what this unnecessary event was supposed to accomplish. Was it truly intended to be a joyous occasion marking the building of a new school, or was it a way of school officials and politicians making a statement to the opposed Mays Chapel residents?