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Mom learns the hard way to take role in kids' education

Editor's note: The first three letters are in response to Parents must parent before teachers can teach, column, Aug. 4.

I just finished reading Jack Reed's column and I do agree that parents need to parent before teachers can teach. I was widowed when my son was 3 years old and my daughter was 9 months old. I did depend on teachers. I was working 60 hours a week and I was too tired to check my children's homework. I let things go by the wayside. What a mistake!

The teachers did what they could; however, my children would have done a lot better with my involvement. By the time my son reached middle school, he was doing terribly. Yes, I blamed everyone, too, then I took a good look at myself. It scared me to death to think that my daughter will be going into middle school this month.

What did I do? Thanks to my wonderful husband, I resigned from my job. I went to Palm Harbor Middle School and signed up to volunteer my services. I will make a difference in the upcoming school year. I will not depend on the school to give my children everything they need for their education.

If my theory is correct, my children will get a better education because of my presence at the school; teachers will be more willing to work with them because I will be a constant reminder that I care. I will have a voice in their education. I will not give up!

I am told how bad the education system is in Florida. Well, it takes us all to educate a child and that includes the parents. You should let your kids know that their education is important to you. It was your choice to have children; now it is your job to bring them up to be productive and caring adults. Don't put all that on teachers and then blame them when it does not turn out the way you expected.

My family may not have as much money now because I am not working, but I will be able to say to myself that I put a 100 percent effort toward their education. In the end, I will have the better things in life _ I will have two children that will make it in this world.

Louise Hambly-Corder, Palm Harbor

Teacher: It's time for parents

to stand up and be counted

As an experienced public high school teacher, I can verify the concerns stated in the column.

Society's foundation is the family unit. Teachers are trained to deliver concentrated information within a specific time frame to their students. The family should be the anchor that balances and steadies a child during the formative years.

Schools are effective institutions of learning, not substitutes replacing passive parenting. It is time for parents to stand up and be counted as responsible authority figures in children's lives.

Mary Laurance, city commissioner, Largo

Parents must teach their kids

to show respect to teachers

And they wonder why the seniors long for the good old days, when teachers not only got the respect of the student, but they got the respect of every parent as well. When we got in trouble at school, we also got punished at home. We showed respect to all elders and especially our teachers and those in charge. We were there to learn and they were there to teach.

To say that things are much better today than 30 or 40 years ago is true only to a degree. Just think how much better things could be if parents actually worked with the school system and insisted that their children do the same? Children must be taught respect from day one, not only for the teachers but for the parents as well. If parents don't teach respect, from whom are the children supposed to learn?

That parent who let her child go to school with only a bra covering her upper torso showed disrespect for the whole school. Why would any parent want their child to be criticized intentionally? The sad thing is that because the parents are no longer in control of their children, they make it impossible for the teachers to teach. When the teacher can no longer teach, who suffers? The child, of course.

I pray that parents will read and heed Jack Reed's message, take back the control of their children and start giving full support to the school system. Everyone reaps the benefits when children are taught respect.

Fran Glaros, Clearwater

Pier 60 Pavilion ice rink provides

all ages with great fun, exercise

Re: Enough with the ice skating; give back the Pier 60 Pavilion, Aug. 5, letter.

Before the skating rink at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach, the pavilion was used about six hours a week by a band. The rest of the time it was occupied by eight homeless people. As a taxpayer, I was appalled that the homeless had a better view than I did.

Skating puts smiles on kids' faces from ear to ear and gives them the chance to become champions. I've taught thousands of students the art of figure skating and hockey. Many became national champions, stars of ice shows and one world champion. It is great exercise for all ages (I started one student at age 83, and she is skating great at 87).

It is great that Clearwater offers its residents a chance to better themselves. For only $5 you can skate all day. In NewYork it would cost $23 for two hours. So stop sitting around in the hot sun and get some exercise.

Perry Boskus, Clearwater

Pool fences may be ugly, costly,

but it's a small price to save lives

Re: Clearwater to consider pool fences, story, Aug. 4.

I just finished reading the article with mixed feelings. How pathetic is it that the city of Clearwater has come to the point where they have to legislate safety for the children of their adult citizens? How sad is it that parents and grandparents continue not to install appropriate safety measures around their pools for either aesthetic or cost reasons?

Personally, I would prefer the look of my pool without my Baby Barrier fence. I would have also preferred to spend the $900 on something a bit more fun. But when it comes to the safety of my 5-, 3- and 1-year-old children, it didn't matter how expensive, or how the fence disrupted the landscape of my back yard. Isn't ugly and expensive worth the life of a child?

So if the Clearwater City Commission has to legislate safety to prevent even one drowning, God bless them.

Kelley Brickfield, Safety Harbor

Rant for NationsBank eviction,

but rave for Clearwater officers

Recently, as I attempted to navigate the narrow street leading to my home, I found the street nearly impassable. It was blocked by both cars and trucks. The occupants of these vehicles were picking over the belongings of an elderly couple who were displaced from their home by NationsBank. It appeared that NationsBank had hired a crew to remove the entire contents of the home and dump it all along the front of the property and sidewalk, making it impossible to traverse the right of way.

I contacted the Clearwater Police Department and reported a possible traffic safety issue, seeing that this narrow stretch was being blocked by individuals with no regard for the "no parking" signs. Officers Kenneth Euler and Joseph Ruhlin responded, surveyed the situation and took action. These officers treated me with the utmost respect and concern for what I felt was an important issue.

Allow me to give these men in blue a hearty salute, and a lemon squeezer to NationsBank.

Thomas D. Fiori Sr., Clearwater

Who's responsible when 3 bids

come in from same fax number?

I saw a TV news report yesterday on three bids the city of Clearwater received for bird control for the playground at Pier 60. The report stated that all three bids were received from the same fax number.

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't the city manager ultimately responsible for all bids sent out for city business?

Andy Ciociola, Clearwater

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