Uniforms don't stifle creativity
I wholeheartedly embrace the idea of mandatory school uniforms for all students K-8 in Pinellas County. In fact, I'd love to see students wear uniforms all the way through high school too, but the opposition would be too great, I suppose. All 12 years of my school life I wore a uniform and it hasn't stifled my individuality or creativity one iota. Additionally, I have worn a uniform to work for the last 20 years of my adult life as well.
Kids know that if they want to work at McDonald's or Publix, or lots of other places, they will have to wear a uniform. They know it means there is a certain standard of quality, a sense of belonging and pride. Many professions demand their personnel wear uniforms, too: military, police, firefighters, nurses.
People in the business world also wear a uniform of sorts every day. Imagine a court of law where everyone wore T-shirts with spaghetti straps and/or jeans with their underwear showing. Can you imagine the judge dressing in such a manner?
There is a tone to the atmosphere and a behavioral expectation that is set when you dress for the situation. School is no different. Students need to be encouraged to dress for school, just as they would if they were working at a job. They should realize that there is a certain expectation as to the quality of their appearance and how they behave and project themselves to the world.
Margaret Dohrman, Clearwater
School isn't a fashion show
The ACLU has done some wonderful work in the field of human rights, but I do not believe school uniforms belong in their purview. The current dress code in nonuniform schools is a joke and is not enforceable without an absurd expenditure of time that could better be spent teaching. The uniform requirement cuts that time down, hence, allows more time to teach.
As for creativity, Albert Einstein was a student in an educational system that was almost military in its rigidity, but he grew up to become one of the greatest and most creative thinkers of all time. Stephen Hawking, an amazingly creative genius despite a dreadful physical handicap, grew up in England, where nearly all students wear uniforms.
Schools are for students to learn, not to indulge in distracting fashion shows. If students want to dress up, let them do so at home, after school hours. One can't be creative without knowledge.
Carolyn Gold, Clearwater
The silent stress of the working spouse Sept. 26
Do your part at home
I am the working spouse in my relationship and my fiance is unemployed. I have a decent profession and support the household financially, but he takes care of the home. He does all the cooking, cleaning, yard work, and so on.
The man in this article does not even cook but sits in his chair asking what's for dinner when the spouse gets home from work. Get up and do your part. I have no problem taking care of the finances because my fiance and I are partners. He does his part. There are things we do without, but we find a way. This is due to his positive attitude and work ethic at home.
The problem with the relationship in this article is not that the woman works and the man is unemployed, but that his hurt ego and lack of pride get in the way of him doing what he should. Take pride in taking care of the person who takes care of you.
Christine Emmanuel, Treasure Island
After reading the woes of Julie Hopson as she works hard to support her unemployed husband and herself during these tough times, one must feel empathy toward her situation. Here are a few suggestions that may help lessen her stress:
Mr. Hopson, please have meals ready for your wife when she gets home. Do the housework so she doesn't have to. If the roles were reversed, I'm sure she would do it for you.
Every night is date night? Does that mean meals out? My wife and I don't do that and we both work.
Packing your lunch because you can't afford fast food is a good thing.
Ditch the cell phones and cable TV. Tough times call for tough measures.
Take a walk together. It will lower stress. Rent a movie from Redbox on Friday or Saturday night ($1). Sell the truck and get a smaller car. Do you have more than one vehicle?
While your unemployment benefits have restarted, try to think past the looming cycle of dependency created by government entitlement.
There are many ways to save and still enjoy your life as best you can.
Best of luck.
Gary Compton, Wesley Chapel
Race drags on in court battle | Sept. 26
Real gutter politics
This article on the legal battle between Kevin Ambler and Jim Norman has GOP lawyer Ryan Rodems referring to Ambler's challenge as "gutter politics."
Rodems is out of touch with the disdain of the people of Florida over the "real" gutter politics that seems to go on every day in this state and country.
Would Norman's wife, Mearline, have had so-called "investors" if it were not for her husband's position as a powerful commissioner? She's a housewife. I would like every housewife in the Tampa Bay area who has had the benefit of "investors" to buy a luxury home to come forward.
The gutter politics is how Norman conducted himself as a commissioner, drawing a $95,000 salary from the Salvation Army plus the use of a vehicle, then accepting the car allowance allotted by the commission.
The system is full of this type of behavior, such as Marco Rubio's influence in obtaining funding for the "Taj Mahal" and his use of the Republican Party's credit cards, and Ray Sansom's use of public funds to help his friends.
Yes, there are Democrats who have acted in the same way, but let's not forget why we voted so drastically in the last election for change. This administration needs more time to enact the change that is needed. And the Republican Party, locally and nationally, has demonstrated that they will sabotage every effort to make this change.
Diane M. Drake, Tampa
It's hardly comical
Having comic Stephen Colbert sit down at a congressional meeting and do a shtick ridiculing Congress itself was as demeaning an act as I've seen.
I'm not a tea party extremist, but I'm beginning to think a good housecleaning is what is called for. These people no longer represent us but only themselves. Just look at all the benefits they have given themselves, yet they fail to give those same benefits to those whom they "represent."
President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country." It seems most politicians have forgotten that's what they've been elected to do.
Robert Murray, Oldsmar