Thursday, November 23, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Attitude change a plus for school district

RECOMMENDED READING


School Board is a pleasure to watch

Having attended many Pasco County School Board meetings in the past, I'm pleased to report that things have changed.

Our new superintendent, Kurt Browning, and his new appointees make the meetings a pleasure to watch. It's obvious they love what they do and, most of all, they're engaged. They are working diligently on improving the working environment in our schools which will create the best environment for our children.

If you haven't been to a meeting in a while because you came away feeling down, try again. You'll be glad you did.

Peggy Lopez, Land O' Lakes

Remembering the bully Feb. 14 guest column

We must take bullying seriously

I just read the column by Jerry Cowling, and I want to say thank you.

Do people not realize that bullying has become such an epidemic, and that kids are scared to speak up because of the repercussions that will ensue? When a child takes their own life because of this, we call this "bullycide."

I am part of a national non-profit organization called Bully Police USA, I work with those who need help in Hernando County and elsewhere. How many more children have to suffer and even end their lives because no one, not even the schools, did anything to protect them?

Someone said one issue of bullying was nothing more then horseplay between two kids. I am sorry but here is the actual meaning of horseplay: rough, boisterous, rowdy play. When a child is being kicked in the groin, punched, kicked, spit on, called horrible names or pushed down stairs, this is not horseplay. This is malicious attempt to do physical harm to someone.

We live in an area where people think there is not a problem and then either brush it off or just sweep it under the rug. But, if it happened to one of their own children, then what? You bet they will want answers and only then will they see the problem.

"Jeffrey's Law" was passed in Florida in 2008, but what good is having this anti-bullying law if districts, schools, and counties think they are above the law and choose to ignore bullying? They say that they have anti-bully programs in the schools, but really, handing out pamphlets does not constitute an anti-bully program.

Bully Police USA is here to help the children and their families reporting bullying, and teaching children they do not have to be afraid to speak up. The most powerful device that they own is their voices, not their fists or feet.

Our children deserve a normal happy, healthy life. They do not deserve to be fearful about going to school.

Robyn Hartman, Spring Hill

AP class policies are a disaster

As the parent of a hard-working Florida high school student, I was elated to hear U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's response to the State of the Union Address last week. I was so impressed when I heard him explain how important it is to grow our economy and our country by focusing on education and our children because they are our best investment. Then he went on to say that we need to, "incentivize local school districts to offer more advanced placement courses." I agree whole-heartedly.

I, too, believe in the power and value of education. Not only in the value to the individual, but in its value to our entire nation. These very capable students will go on to compete robustly with their counterparts in other nations. They will help to maintain future employment. They will be the energy of innovation to keep us strong. To that end, we have a serious problem here in Hernando and Pasco counties. It is directly on point with the policy that the senator described.

Our high school students are currently able to take advanced placement classes offered through our local community college. Unfortunately, they are in jeopardy of losing that ability. There is an effort under way to limit classes per student, charge fees for them, and specify the years in which they can be taken. All of these actions will result in limiting access to advanced classes.

Equally as troubling in Hernando County is the School Board policy to disallow attendance to any student who has completed the basic coursework to obtain a high school diploma. A diligent student is barred from school so certainly cannot take advanced placement classes. Each of these policies alone is disastrous, but moreover taken together they are absolutely antithetical to the strategy that the senator described. They will only serve to quell enthusiasm for learning, stifle ability, and leave our children with the impression that a few dollars are more important than their future.

Remember the senator's quote, "every life at every stage is precious." It is important for me to let Sen. Rubio know that I think that he is right, I share his commitment to our children and I need his help to stop the undermining of our children's education. Children must be able to go to school; including all four years of high school. And they must be able to progress to their fullest potential during that time. Because an education deficit is the worst deficit of all to give a child, it lasts a lifetime.

Lisa Bambauer, Hernando Beach

Comments

Friday’s letters: Find private investors for a new stadium

Opening offer from Rays on stadium sounds too low | Nov. 17, editorialFind private investors for stadiumThe Rays "offered" to pay 18.75 percent of the costs? How outrageously presumptuous to say that they offered! Put another way, they demanded t...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Thursday’s letters: Tax plan won’t help wages

Tax billThis won’t help stagnant wagesThe unfair tax proposal that cuts taxes for the rich and most powerful and cuts the ability of working people to claim any comparable deductions is no more than another greedy power grab by the rich and powerful....
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Wednesday’s letters: Breaking down health data

Don’t let news on blood pressure raise yours | Nov. 17, commentaryBreaking down health numbersThank you for publishing the timely commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch on blood pressure. The point he makes about relative risks versus absolute risks ...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17

Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Published: 11/20/17

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/22/17