Students stand up
Palm Harbor students plan protest over ban of Toni Morrison’s ‘The Bluest Eye’ | Feb. 3
I was heartened to read that Palm Harbor University High School students are protesting the recent curriculum ban of Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye.” Grappling with a wide variety of literary works, including many that dealt with difficult topics, was a hallmark of my experience as a Palm Harbor International Baccalaureate student 20 years ago and inspired my college and graduate school studies in English, music, journalism and cultural criticism. I’m forever grateful for the teachers who taught challenging books that encouraged my intellectual curiosity and nurtured close reading and critical thinking skills. They shaped the course of my life and my career.
Parents with a genuine objection to particular subjects addressed in the classroom may request alternative assignments for their own children, but they have no right to deprive an entire generation of students of the kind of rigorous, well-rounded education I was fortunate to receive. I appreciate that in a political climate in which coordinated assaults on academic freedom have become commonplace, anyone who speaks out against this kind of ban risks real consequences. And so I applaud Hannah Hipólito and her classmates for finding the courage the school administration seems to lack.
Eileen Reynolds (Palm Harbor class of ‘04), Brooklyn, N.Y.
Where it leads
DeSantis proposes sweeping higher education measures aimed at ‘indoctrination’ | Jan. 31
When Gov. Ron DeSantis says he wants to curb diversity, equity and inclusion, we need to think about what those words mean. Curbing means “restraining.” Restraining diversity, equity and inclusion would lead to similarity, inequity and exclusion. To me it sounds a lot like racism.
Diane De Sousa, St. Petersburg
Grow your own
Florida recreational marijuana clears first hurdle to get on 2024 ballot | Feb. 2
I’m sorry, but if it’s legal to possess and ingest marijuana by any means, then why can’t we grow our own — for next to no cost? And we know exactly what it was grown in, what fertilizers were used, and we know it’s clean and fresh. That’s like saying we can’t brew our own beer. Ludicrous.
Stephen Major, St. Petersburg