Editor: I am a teacher in Hernando County and the mother of two children who attend school here. I feel compelled to respond to the recent article in the Times regarding a mother's objections to the novel James and the Giant Peach being used in the classroom.
It is my opinion that this person's request be honored. However, it should be her child alone who is deprived of this classic and not my children and hundreds of others.
Our teachers and media specialists are educated individuals who, for the most part, should be trusted to select books appropriate for the students in their schools. If, on occasion, a foul word or derogatory remark appears in print, a teacher can use this encounter as a teaching tool. Authors sometimes use a certain word or words for effect and not for shock value. I am sure Roald Dahl's purpose was not to degrade any ethnic group nor to encourage substance abuse.
If the county had decided to ban selected pieces of literature, then the whole language approach to teaching certainly would have lost its appeal, as most books would be considered objectionable when taken out of context by certain individuals.
Thus, will the shelves in our media centers eventually be bare?
Please keep book in the library
Editor: Please don't take James and the Giant Peach out of the library. I liked the book's excitement and adventure.
Please don't let some lady tell other people what their children can read.
I love that story. It is wonderful. Don't take it away just because some lady said something. Anyway, at that time, the word "ass" meant mule or donkey.
Westside Elementary School
Stop those unwelcome signs
Editor: I have noted several letters to the editor regarding the political signs in Spring Hill. There seems to be a lot of rhetoric about the subject, but no action.
How about getting the codes changed? Something simple like allowing signs up two weeks before the election, and bring them down one week after, regardless of win, lose or draw. Possibly a second alternative could be billboards at a few certain corners, allowing each candidate a maximum sign on the board for a limited amount of time.
This could be a worthy project for the Spring Hill Civic Association. It sure would be nice not to have to put up with this mess for three months before every election.
Speed laws should be enforced
Editor: We say "Amen!" to the letter by Mr. Graham of Spring Hill, who wrote about no enforcement of the speed laws, the passing of stopped school buses and the generally lax enforcement of the laws that the sheriff was sworn to uphold.
We have driven many miles on U.S. 19 and State Road 50, but have seldom seen a police officer writing a ticket to anyone. We see no enforcement of the no-passing laws on Spring Hill Drive, which is rapidly becoming known as "Hernando's Indy" because of the speed of the drivers.
A more positive enforcement of the speed laws throughout Hernando County and increased tickets written would bring a great deal of money into the court system. No, these are not tourists we are talking about.
A more positive enforcement of the speed laws would rapidly spread the word to motorists that Hernando County is tough on speeders. The fine is $52 plus $5 for each mile over the speed limit, plus the points go on their driver's record. Let's have a saturation of police to clamp down on the "Indy" drivers, especially on U.S. 19 between Spring Hill Drive and the Wal-Mart.
H. Stanley Haley Jr.