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Proper behavior is relevant for all students

Ugly behavior has no excuse | March 22, Bill Maxwell column

Proper behavior relevant for all students

First, I would like to applaud Bill Maxwell for his candor in addressing the issue of student misbehavior in our classrooms. He has an elegant way of discussing topics that are extremely relevant to what is occurring in our society today.

I understand there are racial issues that exist in our schools, and I agree that teachers need training so they can deal effectively with all the different cultures that are represented in our classrooms. However, I wanted to read Maxwell's article to my sixth-grade students without the racial overtones because I believe proper behavior is important in the classroom setting no matter how many different cultures are represented.

As I started to highlight what I wanted to read, it became apparent to me how relevant this article is to all students, regardless of their cultural background. Misbehavior and disrespect run rampant in many of our schools, regardless of the racial population, and it is obvious to most teachers that if behavior was not such an issue in class, our students would be achieving their goals at a much faster rate.

Parents need to step up to the plate and get involved with their child's education. When I am allowed to teach, my students prosper. When I spend more time addressing issues of disrespect than I do teaching, that is when learning begins to decline.

Our job as parents is to set a good example for our children. We need to mentor them and be good role models. We need to teach them to respect others even though they may not be "just like us." We need to instill in them a pride of respect not only for themselves, but for the people around them as well.

Janet Whedon, Clearwater

Ugly behavior has no excuse | March 22, Bill Maxwell column

Bring back discipline to our schools

The behavior by high school students these days (especially as recounted in the recent Times story about the black girl who screamed "f--- you" at her teacher and then called the same teacher a "white bitch") is absolutely reprehensible. We've let the laissez-faire liberals take control of our school system and they are allowing the "inmates to run the asylum."

While I agree with Bill Maxwell that "persistent parental involvement" is the usual key in guaranteeing a good education for children, it's a fairly safe bet that students like the one described above did not grow up in a stable, two-parent home where the parents taught morals, character and the value of a good education.

Political correctness aside, we need to go back to the days when teachers were permitted to instill discipline (a word that has been banned in our public schools for way too long) by whatever means necessary before this problem gets any worse.

Bob Lindskog, Palm Harbor

To the penny | March 27, story

Make them pay

Free medical insurance to the tune of $44 million a year for our legislators? Outrageous!

How about we save $22 million by having them pay half toward their medical insurance like us mere mortals?

Bill Schumacher, St. Petersburg

Dear AIG, I quit! | March 26

It's about the team

This isn't a guy I'd want on my team. I say "deal with it." He's not facing reality.

If you are on a team and the team loses, even when you batted 1.000 and made no errors, you lose too. When a ship sinks and you're on it, you're going down with the ship even if you were just the guy making sandwiches and doing a great job.

I think it is great that he is donating the taxpayers' money to ease his conscience. Thanks for giving back what we gave you.

I didn't do anything wrong either to create this economic downturn, as well as a great majority of us in this country, but I'm suffering right along with them. We all wish we could have gotten a piece of the bailout to donate as we wished.

T.W. Funari, St. Petersburg

Dear AIG, I quit! | March 26

Let funds be returned

Thank you for publishing the letter sent by Jake DeSantis, an officer of AIG, to Edward Liddy. His letter is a poignant reminder that there are two sides to every story. I admire DeSantis for the courage to stand by his convictions and to donate the money to charity rather than do what may be politically correct.

Perhaps certain leaders in Congress, such as Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, and President Barack Obama would follow the lead and give to charity the "contribtions" they received from AIG as well as Fannie and Freddie.

James Pirretti, St. Petersburg

Skilled hands needed

Two critical letter writers commenting recently on the AIG bonus uproar offer insight into the lack of factual information that has led to this lynch mob. Comments like "let the place burn" and suggesting we should fire the bonus recipients and give their jobs to laid off workers show a stunning lack of understanding.

Several key officials have said an AIG meltdown would cause a world economic meltdown, since its size is far greater than other institutions involved in this mess.

Edward Liddy was installed as AIG CEO by Congress, and after he reviewed the situation inside the company, reviewed his findings with Congress and expressed great concern that key people might walk away leaving a mess of unmanageable proportions with no high-powered players with the skills to sort through the murky asset pools. He recommended the retention bonus be maintained to minimize this very serious risk. Congress specifically retained these bonuses in the legislation.

To say things like "let the place burn" is hilarious.

James W. Benefiel, Dunedin

Producing things would be a start | March 22, Robyn Blumner column

Bring back industry

Robyn Blumner told it in her column this past Sunday as it should be.

She should be commended for her wisdom. Until we reindustrialize our nation, no amount of paper shuffling will get us out of the downturn in employment.

When the paper shufflers on Wall Street took over with the bottom line of immediate profits, some of our esteemed economists saw the handwriting on the wall. No one was listening. We can hear you now.

Jack Levine, Palm Harbor

Forgotten, and forever gone | March 22, Floridian story

Be alert for children

It was emotionally difficult to read the heart-breaking stories of parents who have lost their children because they unwittingly left the child in a car to ultimately die. The article focused on how the parents deal with such a tragedy and move on. It also dealt with how different justice systems have treated the situation.

Lacking in the article was how we as community members can help prevent this from happening to children. In each of the cases outlined, and in the 15-25 cases of similar child deaths each year across the country, the child had been in the car for the duration of the workday. How many people walked by those cars during those hours?

These tragedies can be prevented if all of us made a commitment to be aware enough of our surroundings during our day so that we can notice a child left in a car. I challenge all adults to look into cars as you walk through parking lots. You could save a life of a child and a lifetime a grief for a parent.

Ann Doyle, Tampa

Proper behavior is relevant for all students 03/28/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 28, 2009 10:38pm]
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