Can we please agree, as a community, that we should remove the unsightly and ineffective signs from the fronts of our school buildings proclaiming “This is a Drug Free Safe Zone” or other such nonsense? Seriously, does anyone think these deter said activity? Or do they simply send a message to our kids that they can’t be trusted to think for themselves and must be reminded every morning as they walk into school not to do bad things?

Case in point: Portland High School, built in 1863 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, greets its students with two garish signs, rudely stuck upon the elegant facade of the building, announcing “This is a Tobacco Free School Zone.” If those signs were removed tomorrow (and I hope a custodian might read this and do just that), would kids suddenly light up on the front steps?

If we must require such signs for enforcement purposes, let’s at least put them on the trash cans, where they would be far more in context. I realize in these turbulent times that this may seem a trivial issue, but progress is usually incremental.

Jaime Parker

Portland