Schools ignore bus safety issue
My son is a kindergartner at Explorer K-8. He rides the bus to school. A child of unknown age, potentially up to age 15 because this is a K-8 school, exposed himself to my 6-year-old on the school bus.
When I reported this to the principal, it was met with mild concern and a comment that struck me as odd: "I will see what I can do, but because we do not know the date that it happened, it may be so far in the past that I cannot do anything."
I offered many suggestions on how we could keep the buses safe. I suggested an additional supervisor, a teen helper or a special rewards system like is used inside the school. None were met with optimism.
When I did not hear back in three days, I called the superintendent to file a complaint. I was told that it would be taken care of. In the interim, I also called the transportation department to speak with a supervisor and my calls were not returned.
It has now been two weeks and I have not heard back, nor has my son been asked to identify the person who did this. When my son approached the bus driver to ask him about it, he was yelled at by the driver. I'd like to know why Hernando County schools do not find it a priority to keep our students safe on the buses. Bus riders have no additional supervision. The bus drivers clearly have no skills to manage the children, and when a parent has a concern as I did, it is not handled at all. It is extremely difficult to justify keeping my child in a school that considers his safety to be a joke.
Jenny Earnest, Spring Hill
Moore should read the Constitution | Dec. 2 letter
War spending is irresponsible
I am sure Brian Moore has read both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as I have.
The Constitution was not a perfect document at conception; note the many amendments. The Bill of Rights was written at a time when women, children and slaves had no rights.
Our national debt is very scary, but it was not accrued by helping citizens have a better life. Compared to the trillions spent on fighting equipment, the Cold War, Vietnam and the Mideast wars, social services for our citizens is a small amount.
One day in Iraq or Afghanistan could fund many worthwhile projects at home. Perhaps without these war expenses we could have national health care. I don't read anything in the Constitution or Bill of Rights about bailing out banks and manufacturing companies or subsidizing insurance companies. Did not a few billion dollars go there? Why can we afford to do these things and then not see to it that no one in the United States is homeless, hungry and without medical care?
I would apply the word "unsustainable" to the ongoing support of investments of the wealthy and wars that drain us of our wonderful men and women in the armed forces.
Doris Taylor, Brooksville
It's Republicans who are in denial | Dec. 2 letter
Economic plan makes no sense
It certainly is interesting logic that while complaining about the Republicans' excessive spending, the writer somehow believes that Obama spending more money in 11 months than Bush did in eight years on items not likely to generate any jobs but raise taxes and increase energy costs is somehow a solution.
I guess if I approached that same philosophy in my own life then the answer to my losing half my income to the market crash would be to go out and spend like crazy with money I don't have on items that make me feel warm and fuzzy but don't solve the basic problem.
Bob Jillings, Brooksville
Thanks to writer, photographer
This is a heartfelt thank-you to the St. Petersburg Times for the wonderful coverage of my class Thanksgiving dessert presentation.
An extra big thank-you goes out to Paulette Lash Ritchie. She surely captured the genuine essence of my project in her article. She is a true professional. She showed patience toward my stars. The children remarked how special they felt after she interviewed them. My families were touched not only by the delightful essays their children created and presented but also by the manner in which Ms. Ritchie chose to share with the community.
I must also congratulate Will Vragovic. His wonderful photography definitely complemented Ms. Ritchie's article.
Josephine Maher, Brooksville
More errors from Brown-Waite
U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite seems to think that if you say something often enough, it becomes true. I have repeatedly written to her regarding errors and misrepresentations in her mailings. Health care deserves an informed, honest debate. Not repeated scare tactics.
She claims heroic efforts on her part to save Medicare, Tricare and VA programs while assuring constituents she will protect them against involuntary "government-run programs" such as, by the way, Medicare, Tricare and VA programs.
It is bewildering at times to see Republicans so passionate about protecting Medicare while decrying the evils of any public programs in the health care debate. And sad to see Republicans being allowed to hold up, for so long, a Senate VA bill to expand benefits to our soldiers and their caregivers and families.
In the health care debate, she cites serious budget concerns, yet she endorsed the White House proposal for a $250 one-time payment to all Social Security recipients and sponsored a bill that would add another $13 billion to our deficit.
In her constituents' letter of Nov. 24, she claims to state "uncomfortable truths." No, Ginny, some are lies and others just dishonest argument. We deserve far better from someone on our payroll. Especially from Rep. Brown-Waite, who is getting 75 percent of her health insurance premiums paid for by us, the taxpayers. If a government-run health care program works so nicely for her, why would it not for the rest of America?
Maggie Dowling, San Antonio