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For students, days off are a gift, not a punishment

Editor: Re: Parents' close examination reveals faults with "IPSville," March 20 guest column by Sophia Diaz-Fonseca:

Although I did not read editor Greg Hamilton's commentary, I would like to respond after reading the subsequent guest column.

I totally agree our teachers need higher pay. I believe our schools need a larger budget for books and supplies. In the younger grades the teachers themselves provide certain supplies for classroom projects and daily work. This should not be coming out of their pockets.

Yes, just before going back to school there are several commercials asking for help for school supplies, the radio stations get involved, and it is a successful campaign. But why stop those commercials for the rest of the year? The need doesn't stop.

However, although we do have some excellent teachers, I have one beef with the system. When a child (and I am referring to grades 2 through 5) does something wrong, the school immediately expels or suspends the child. Think about it. The child thinks this is great; he gets out of going to school for a day or two, his parents have to make arrangements for a babysitter, sometimes needing to take time off work, etc.

What happened to keeping a child after school for punishment? That used to be an excellent way of getting a child's attention. It also can result in a bonding between teacher and child, which could very well prevent the same or similar mistake on the child's part. If the teacher needs to do paperwork, or planners, then she can sit at her desk and make the child read, do extra class work as punishment, etc.

I just think that many of the old ways need to be brought back in the way of handing out punishment and bonding with children in the classroom (especially the younger children). It is true, the teacher can form this child for the rest of his/her life.

Let's give them the money to do what needs to be done and the right to punish the child where it really counts. Don't give the child a couple of days off; that's just a gift to them.

Theresa Webster, St. Petersburg

Article was well written

and greatly appreciated

Editor: Re: Stepping up for democracy, March 18 Times:

I wish to commend the fine work of staff writer Jorge Sanchez. His recent article regarding my work here in Sugarmill Woods and my government career contained many facts, which I am sure took a great deal of time and effort to research.

I was very surprised and pleased with the end results.

His initiative and enthusiasm, plus his skills as a writer, have impressed me greatly, but I am sure this information is nothing new to his editors.

My kindest regards and thanks for a job well done.

Ruth J. Anderson, president

Sugarmill Woods Democratic Club

Kids and worthy program

can use some more help

Editor: Re: Guest Column, Parents' close examination finds faults with "IPSville," March 20 guest column by Sophia Diaz-Fonseca:

Diaz-Fonseca's commentary points out many hardships that the teachers and volunteers have to endure to maximize the effectiveness of this worthy program. She laid no basis for a conceptual critique, only administrative and clerical problems.

I invite her to join those of us who see this program as an option to otherwise academic failure. The children need help.

Ken LaPorte, Crystal River

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