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Remove the troublemakers from our classrooms

Too much to ask | June 8, Sunday Journal

Remove the troublemakers from class
Melanie Hubbard's description of her discouragement with teaching in the public school system seems sad and somewhat tragic — both for her and for the students.

It seems to me the fault lies not with her, or with the students. The system allows a few students to lower the standard of teaching/learning for all students. If the system allowed for the easy and permanent removal from the classroom/school of students who don't act like they want to be there, there might be some hope.

Until then, the public school will be a place where neither students nor teachers have any respect for themselves or for learning. And both just bide their time until they can move on.

Alan Reeder Camponi, St Petersburg

School shame

While reading this article by a woman who was trying to teach in a Hillsborough high school classroom, I was appalled that this behavior by the students is allowed to exist.

Who asked her not to identify the school? Identifying the school would pinpoint where the administration needs to come down hard on this type of behavior and, perhaps, on the principal at that school.

This is not only a waste of time and money spent on "education," it is an embarrassment to the Hillsborough County School Board and a disservice to any student who would like to learn. Shame on Hillsborough County schools. The inmates are running the asylum.

Isabel H. Patrick, Tampa

Firm hand needed

The Sunday Journal article written by Melanie Hubbard put the real education problem on the table.

It is a fact that our "children" are manipulating control of the schools and education process through their bad behavior. Grades are not noted or are changed to avoid confrontation with the "children" or their parents. Discipline is not enforced. The "children" fear nothing and act like pack animals. The administration fears the parents and bad publicity, and therefore gives everyone more chances — the liberal philosophy!

To rescue our education system takes more than passing a law or providing money. It takes a firm, consistent hand controlling the school. Children will learn and behave if they know where the line is and what it takes to achieve and if parents are supportive.

My sympathies to Ms. Hubbard for having her expectations dashed.

Elizabeth Keith, St. Petersburg
Advice to new grads: Don't be an idiot | June 8, Howard Troxler column

Further advice for grads

Howard Troxler nailed it in his advice to graduates. To build on his sage advice, please remember there is nothing more satisfying than passionate creativity. Those who try to silence or diminish it typically have neither passion nor creativity. With a little redirection, the next Guitar Hero may very well be the cure for cancer.

Surround yourself with those who are uncomfortable with the status quo. Be an example of civility. It takes a bit more work to make a point through logical and civil discourse, but it's worth it. Pay no mind to the loud and the dismissive. Laugh with people not at them. Finally, please do not fall into the lazy trap of moving up at the expense of others. You can do good and do well. They are not mutually exclusive. Good luck, graduates. The future is yours.

Kenneth Talbot, Seminole

Tax and school changes up to you, Florida voters | June 7, opinion by Allan Bense

Excuses for failure

Allan Bense's self-serving "view" published in the Opinion section of Saturday's paper is so obviously a defensive attempt to clear his name and reputation that I'm surprised you published it.

His column was merely a wordy rehash of the lousy seven itsy-bitsy things that his Taxation and Budget Reform Commission commission was able to achieve. Unfortunately Bense will go down in history as failing to do his job at a most critical time for Florida.

While we might have considered ourselves fortunate that the commission's 20-year cycle had it convening at just the right time — at the peak of the property tax debate — Bense failed to get his group to rise above the same politics that stifled the Legislature.

Even though many of his commission members have academic backgrounds, no philosophic, ground-breaking or principle-driven recipes were offered. Instead we get these tidbits that will surely be insufficient to handle the much bigger crisis at hand. Perhaps in another 20 years we'll find a leader with the right stuff to truly do a job worth commending.

Jim Mastro, Brooksville

Tax and school changes up to you, Florida voters | June 7, opinion by Allan Bense

The real aim

Some clarification is needed with regard to Allan Bense's statement indicating one of the amendments created by the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission enables the state to create more school options. What it does is enable the Republicans to transfer public funds to private and religious schools. Of course this is being done at the same time the public schools are being forced to cut programs and raise fees due to lack of state funding.

One has to wonder if the Republicans' goal is to do away with public school funding in its entirety.

Seymour Weinberg, Wesley Chapel

Jurors judge movies obscene | June 6, story

It's not free speech

I was pleased that the jury found Paul Little guilty. Pornography is an obscenity and to claim protection under the First Amendment as a defense for this activity as an expression of free speech is absurd. Pornography offers the community nothing of value and nothing of substance to pass on to future generations.

The business of pornography is degrading and dehumanizing to its performers, producers and customers and can lead to an addiction as controlling as drugs.

Richard N. Valentine, Palm Harbor

The unspoken health menace | May 30

Dietitians know what to do

I am sorry to hear that Dr. Jeremy Brown is confused about what to say to patients whose weight is having a severe impact on their overall health. My son is a third-year medical student and already knows how to approach this subject: Would you like a referral to see a registered dietitian for nutrition counseling?

Registered dietitians are trained to develop plans specific to individual needs and abilities, and are available to provide the continued support necessary to achieve success. We have been a part of the health care team since 1917 and it is time for health care consumers to be given access to our services.

Nadine Pazder RD, president-elect of the Florida Dietetic Association, Largo

Remove the troublemakers from our classrooms 06/09/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 16, 2008 11:21am]
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