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Troubled kids need caring, supportive teachers

Teacher balks at new job | Nov. 13 article

Troubled kids need our help

I read with interest the teacher's comments and those of the Hernando school representative about the teacher's relocation to the STAR Education Center in Brooksville. I am a guidance counselor at an alternative school in a neighboring county. I find the attitude shown by both to be troubling.

Alternative schools have been around in the bay area for at least 20 years. They represent the school system's attempt to deal with certain types of behaviors in the classroom from disruptive children. In a discussion I had with my principal recently, we both agreed that most students who find their way to these schools are there because of either some traumatic incident in their lives or a failing on the part of the adults around them.

Examples from the two or so decades I have worked with these children range from severe abuse to benign neglect, from the suicide or murder of a parent to abandonment by one or both parents, to a failure to recognize a learning problem by the school system itself. It is rare to the point of nonexistent that they come with no underlying issue. Society often views them as throwaway kids.

Unfortunately, throwaway kids tend to grow into throwaway adults who often have children who they raise (or drag up, as one child described his upbringing to me) to be their images.

Our job is to help them see that no matter what life they have been dealt there are other ways to live. They know who cares and who does not. Our job is to be sincere in our efforts and understand that what we put into them now will be paid back with interest to society in the future.

If you don't want to work with them, they will know. If you don't want to work with them, then you will continue damage the other adults in their lives have started. If you can look at this job offer from the perspective that the change you help make with these kids can be dramatic and more rewarding than anything you can imagine, it will help not only you but them.

Think of children who need a mentor because there is no one in their lives they can trust. Think in terms of this as a blessing and not a punishment, no matter what the intent of the school district is. When a child comes back to you as an adult, like one did recently with me, and says that you are the only reason they finished school and are living today, you will understand how important this work is.

Speak with the teachers and support staff at the school. My guess is you will find that most of them have been there for several years, choosing to stay at the STAR center, even when there were openings elsewhere.

Cynthia Ryalls-Clephane, Brooksville

Keep recycling schedule as is | Nov. 15 letter

Recycling fees forced on us

The letter writer has a wonderful idea, but it has fallen on deaf ears. The suggestion of once a week trash pickup has been requested several times but no one in the county building is listening. They do not want to hear anything about Waste Management and the trash pickup business these days, but only allow our bills to go up.

There is a long-standing question I have been asking the Hernando County commissioners and administrator for the past five years and they have yet to answer. Why is Spring Hill the only location in Hernando County with mandatory trash removal?

In the elections of 1986 and 1992, especially in 1992, the general election ballot referendum read: "Do you favor a countywide mandatory system for solid waste collection within the residentially zoned areas?''

The key words are "countywide'' and "residentially zoned.'' Why is it that Spring Hill residents are the only ones in the residential areas being forced to accept this mandatory pickup and charged double what other county residents are?

I refused to have Waste Management services and pay this mandatory billing. I choose to take my recyclables to recycling bins around the county and use my garbage for my garden to grow my vegetables. I also use the dump when I choose to like the others in the county who choose to.

Gary Mercer, Spring Hill

Race not an issue at robbery scene

When police respond to an armed robbery in progress, safety dictates that they do so tactically, not tactfully. Had the Times properly investigated this issue prior to going to press with what it thought would be an awesome racial bomb against the police, the facts would have pummeled the story. But don't we hate it when the facts get in the way?

When these officers arrived, they had reasonable suspicion that anyone (and everyone) on the scene was a potential suspect and as such they acted within proper guidelines. Skin color does not matter when officers are trying to make the scene safe and determine who is who.

I am sorry, as I believe Chief Turner is, that the pastor/jail guard was inconvenienced prior to receiving his pie. However, to try to make this a race issue is negligent at best and race-baiting irresponsible journalism at worst. I would encourage readers to examine a responsible and accurate account of this incident in Hernando Today. Come on St. Pete Times, you should know better.

Robert Sullivan, Brooksville

Traffic ticket earns rebuke

What a shame that in this difficult day and economic times the good people of Brooksville have allowed their representatives to turn to technicalities, yes technicalities, to make money to support their city. Casting more woes on many struggling to survive on something that a short time ago would have been overlooked and were considered minor infractions.

I am referring to the big brother traffic control system. Have city leaders ever heard of a warning ticket? Maybe even a $15 first offense fine and if it happens again, slam them? No, just dish 'em out as fast as you can and for anything that you can claim.

Whatever happens to giving someone a break? They will speak of all the accidents and lives they save and how things have gotten better. They will talk of tough times and protecting jobs, all good, but forgetting at whose expense. It is a pathetic example of ineffective leadership and it reflects on all who condone, approve and allow this form of government and action. Where did humanity and compassion and understanding ever go?

I didn't get a ticket, I just know some who have had the misfortune of riding through Brooksville lately. Perhaps you should stay clear of that city for any and all reasons. And, anyway, how do you ticket an inanimate object?

R. Melaccio Sr., Spring Hill

Few get to decide for homeowners

If my figures are reasonably accurate, 60 percent of our community's homeowners association recently voted at our semi-annual meeting to make our community a mandatory dues-paying group, with approximately 50 percent voting for the change and 10 percent against. If my mathematics is accurate, that means 30 percent of our community demands that 100 percent of us must pay dues!

I have been a dues-paying member since moving here in 2001, and while I would prefer that all lot and home owners elect to join our paying members, I do not subscribe to the notion that all must.

Our board of directors, having attempted to get 100 percent of the home and lot owners to agree, but failing many times in the past, called upon a prominent law firm in Pinellas County and its pre-eminent real estate attorney to solve this dilemma.

After having multiple attorneys tell us we must get all owners to wish to have this a mandatory dues-paying community, the new attorney, with 20 years experience in the real estate field, revealed we merely needed a majority of the dues-paying members to re-establish this neighborhood as a mandatory dues-paying organization.

Thirty percent of us can tell 100 percent of us the new rules?

Carl F. McGiffin, Spring Hill

>>Your voice counts

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Troubled kids need caring, supportive teachers 11/17/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 20, 2009 8:32am]
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