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For teachers in Florida, the minuses are adding up | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
 
English teacher Philip Belcastro speaks about his students’ projects in his classroom at St. Petersburg High School.
English teacher Philip Belcastro speaks about his students’ projects in his classroom at St. Petersburg High School. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published May 4, 2023

I once taught

Stay or go? | May 3

I taught for a short time in Florida. It was the hardest job I ever had. If I were still teaching, I would likely push the limits, although as a math teacher, there is not as much — other than using pronouns of a student’s choice — that could get me into trouble, which I would do without hesitation because it is my right to free speech. I also would be able to get back to working in the trades, so losing a job that restricts my free speech would not be a burden on me. If I were still teaching I would certainly look at options in other states that do not restrict free speech. We have some of the lowest-paid teachers in the country, and restricting their speech and threatening them with loss of income is not going to help the teacher shortage in this state. I am glad I do not have to make that decision to stay or to go.

Dave Hinz, Clearwater

The greed of Hollywood

Hollywood writers begin their strike | May 3

The 2023 Writers Guild of America Strike means that the TV shows and movies that we enjoy will come out way later (if at all), and the stuff now will likely plummet in quality. When you get upset about the fact, remember that it is the greed of Hollywood — not the striking workers — at fault.

Paul Bacon, Hallandale Beach

About those drones

$25M offer to replace drones | May 3

Instead of using $25 million of taxpayer money to replace $200 million of functioning Chinese-made drones used by the police, why doesn’t our governor use that money to increase the police officers’ salaries? Once again our shortsighted governor seems laser-focused on a personal political agenda instead of focusing on the needs of his constituents.

Courtenay O’Connell, Palm Harbor

Overdose deaths

As fentanyl crisis grows, US-Mexico divide deepens | April 30

There were 47,000 gun deaths last year, which is totally unacceptable. On the other hand, there were 107,000 deaths due to drug overdoses (70,000 due to fentanyl). You will see headline after headline about guns but few if any about overdoses. Why are there no outbursts over this? Is this because current laws haven’t been effective? Do we expect the same of new gun laws?

Tom Craig, Riverview