USF is teaching Student Loan Reality 101 | April 29
Teach financial literacy sooner
Bravo to USF for helping their students learn to manage their student loans. Sadly, waiting until the students are deeply in debt to teach them how to manage their finances is like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. Students need this information while they are in high school — before they begin incurring massive student and credit card debt.
That's why the Florida Council on Economic Education urged Florida legislators this year to require a semester of personal finance for all high school students. Research has shown that students who took a financial literacy course in high school were more likely to exhibit positive financial behaviors in college — budgeting, saving and responsible use of credit. We need to set young adults up for financial success by requiring high school financial literacy classes that give them the information and tools they'll need to make wise, informed decisions.
Robin K. Warren, executive director, Florida Council on Economic Education, Tampa
We still need some privacy April 28, Robyn Blumner column
Stress security, awareness
The recent horrific events at the Boston Marathon indicate a need for increased awareness and security at events with large public attendance. Radical infiltration and sabotage are not going to stop. I hope officials are already considering increasing the number of "choke points" through which all participants and observers must be screened; and increasing the presence of trained dogs. Their noses are so much more sensitive than ours.
Along with that, we need a participatory increase in public awareness. Of course, there will be false alarms, but that is a small price to pay. Public training programs will assist greatly. Stay alert, be proactive, be safe. Keep America free.
Emiliano Quinidagan, St. Petersburg
Mormons back plan to admit gay Scouts April 27
Keep the Scouts traditional
For 103 years the Boy Scouts have taught traditional values, character and courage. Scouts pledge duty to God and country, to obey the Scout law, to help others, and to keep physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
Because of their policy against admitting openly gay members, they have been persecuted relentlessly by homosexual activists, who also pressure corporations and organizations to drop their funding to the Scouts. These activists "demand" full inclusion and won't be happy until the Scouts celebrate and promote homosexuality.
In 2000 the Supreme Court ruled that the Scouts, a private organization, have a right to have codes of conduct and membership standards, which include sexual conduct. Engaging in homosexual conduct is inconsistent and contrary to their values. They don't want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior. The court said a "forced" inclusion would intrude on the Boy Scouts' rights to freedom of expressive association.
This isn't a matter of "tolerance" like race or ethnicity. It's about sexual attraction and conduct. It's about a group wanting to force their beliefs of sexual conduct on a group that doesn't embrace those beliefs and doesn't want to promote those beliefs. It's about freedom of thought and religious liberty, and the attempt to censor it.
This month, the Boy Scouts of America is voting on whether to change membership requirements. The BSA shouldn't trade the well-being of boys for corporate dollars or to satisfy homosexual activists. They should stand united in the goal to protect children and preserve the Boy Scouts' proud heritage.
Please stand with the Boy Scouts and their current policy. Let them know you support them!
Diana Gilbert, Niceville
His dreams dashed, his family divided April 28
Bomber didn't merit profile
I cannot believe the Times, or any other newspaper, would publish a story about a terrorist trying to justify reasons for his actions. The poor guy — his dreams were dashed and this led him to kill innocent people and a child. This guy doesn't deserve the time of day and his name should not be remembered for anything. He should be forever known as the scum terrorist No. 1.
Shame on the Times and anyone involved in publishing this story. It is not news; it is trying to humanize an animal attack. There is no humanity in it.
Dave Machen, Land O' Lakes
Save this school | April 28, commentary
Don't shortchange students
Thank you for publishing the article by Molly Barnes about the Lacoochee Elementary School in Pasco County. She rightly points out that this school has many challenges and that those were being addressed until recently when the leadership changed. Two key people's jobs have been eliminated (the bilingual parent/community liaison and another person who worked with parents).
It is sad to see schools being robbed of good people because of lack of funding. These children need help to learn English and to succeed in other areas and it is difficult for their parents to help them for many reasons. We need to strongly oppose the proposals that the school become a charter school or be closed altogether.
Mary Anne Mulder, St. Petersburg
Veteran of NBA writes: I'm gay | April 30
Nothing to be proud of
It is a sad day for America when the president of the United States applauds a gay professional basketball player (Jason Collins) for announcing that he is gay. The president stated that we "Americans should be proud of the growing acceptance of gays and lesbians." How can anyone be proud of denouncing God, which is effectively what the president is saying?
God has never created a homosexual or lesbian. They choose that lifestyle in defiance of God. The Bible is very clear that the gay lifestyle is an abominable lifestyle to God. All homosexuals and lesbians need to see that God loves them but abhors their lifestyle and has something much better for them. They only need to turn to Him and trust Jesus to change their hearts and lives.
Walter Rinehart, Spring Hill