Sunday, June 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Dual enrollment classes key to strong education

Rubio is right about education

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

Crime continues to decline Feb. 22 article

Our gun rights may play a role

The article mentions a few reasons for the decline in the crime rate. Not mentioned is concealed-carry permits for firearms.

Is it at all possible that Florida's respect for the rights of its citizens, guaranteed by the Second Amendment, may be a reason for the decline? Just wondering.

Joseph A. Schlosser, Spring Hill

Re: Peacocks vs. neighbors

Birds are noisy, just sometimes

We have lived across the street from Bernard Iscla since 1981. Mr. Iscla's birds are noisy from time to time, but at no time have we heard them "all the time" or "from morning to night."

The birds may be more agitated lately, as there has recently been a significant increase in shooting coming from the vicinity.

Alton Taylor, Brooksville

Remembering the bully Feb. 14 guest column

Children deserve a happy life

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 apart of a national non-profit organization called Bully Police USA. I work with those who need help here 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 actually meaning of horse play: 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 horse play. 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 that they will be wanting answers and then and only then will they see the problem.

Jeffrey's law was passed in Florida in 2008, but what good is having this anti-bully 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

Comments

Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18