Reuniting Lutz students for high school
It is time to bring to light a difficult and unfathomable situation in which the School Board is expressing strong resentment and anger toward the children of Lutz. Over a decade ago there was an effort to site a high school in the Lutz area that met with much division and disagreement by different Lutz citizens. One disagreement resulted in a lawsuit by a single group of Lutz residents over one site option. During this time the Lutz PTA and parents vehemently supported, lobbied and attended meetings in favor of a Lutz High School. Eventually, time passed, the site was chosen and now a Lutz high school is being built on Lutz-Lake Fern Road in Lutz.
As a result of this new high school and the redistricting process, Lutz Elementary families are now expressing their desire to be included in the high school district which they consistently supported. This desire to be incorporated into a Lutz high school boundary (be it Steinbrenner or Gaither) is an effort to meet the original intent of the School Board and the Lutz PTA for Lutz children to attend high school together at a Lutz community high school. Much to the astonishment of the Lutz families, we are meeting with strong language and resentment toward the children of the same Lutz PTA organization that supported the School Board's efforts in the past.
It is difficult to believe that an argument over a single school site choice could invoke such intense dislike on the part of the School Board. Political decision-makers open these types of decisions up for comment and community involvement on a frequent basis. Of course there was opposition in the past to certain school sites - this is part of the process! However, citizens expressing their opinion should not be punished for participating in the process.
The Lutz high school is sited, being built and, in approximately 10 months, will open its doors ... and our 72 Lutz fifth-grade children want the option of attending. Such a small number will obviously be easily absorbed by a 2,500 student high school. It is time for Lutz to be reunited in a Lutz community high school.
Bret Anderson, Lutz parent and former Lutz PTA president
Now is not the time to build
Temple Terrace had a referendum about the redevelopment plan a few years ago. The people voted against the plan. Nevertheless, the City Council voted to ignore the referendum and go ahead with the plan. I was not aware of that when I called the city offices about the plan, and was told that there had been no referendum and that the decision had been made, and that the city believed it was in the best interests of the people. I disagree with the city. In these hard times, people can't afford more and more property taxes and parking tickets to subsidize luxury offices for city officials.
Stephanie Fischetti, Temple Terrace