Here why we must show respect for Florida’s trade school grads | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Monday’s letters to the editor.
A scene from St. Petersburg College's electrical lineworker class in 2021.
A scene from St. Petersburg College's electrical lineworker class in 2021. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published May 22

Trade school respect

Is that higher education? | Letters, May 16

In response to the reader who felt compelled to denigrate trade schools… my father taught high school shop class for 40 years and was a firm believer that not every student is a bachelor of arts candidate. A lot of the students in his classes were considered “throwaways” who would never amount to anything (as success to many people means holding a college diploma).

Instead these students learned a trade and upon graduation went to work for fathers, uncles, friends and others in plumbing, air conditioning, electrical, construction and other trades. Along the way they not only learned the technical aspects of their work but also the business side.

They are now the same “throwaway” individuals that own the companies to whom these degree holding customers pay a premium hourly rate to fix their air conditioners in August or unclog the bathroom drain.

Anyone who has earned a college degree should be proud and deservedly so. However, it’s the trade school graduates with the tools in their hands that make so much of the world function and they deserve just as much respect.

Jim McAlister, Wesley Chapel

We’re here to help?

DeSantis signs bill on pronouns, gender care, drag shows and more | May 18

I believe it was Ronald Reagan that opined that the scariest words in the English language were “We’re from the government, and we’re here to help.” After reading of the bills signed by our esteemed governor this week, the similar article regarding lawsuits associated with book banning in our libraries, and the multitude of power grabbing actions of this administration, I believe we can officially modify this statement to “We’re from the government, and we’re here to take over everything.”

Terry Griffin, Lutz

Cause for optimism

Pinellas public and private school valedictorians and salutatorians | May 17

Anyone feeling dispirited about the state of our nation and of this state should read the news about these brilliant graduates in Pinellas County, assembled from here and from every distant corner of the globe. It’s hard to believe we can fail, or fail to pull ourselves out of the current mess, with brilliant young minds like these coming into their own. This news is an annual highlight in the Times and gives one a true burst of optimism.

Steve Douglas, St. Petersburg

Spreading more love

Graduates: Here’s what nobody tells you | Column, May 17

This newspaper has many fine writers, but I don’t think any match the essential presence of columnist Stephanie Hayes. She has a true gift, and her writing never, ever falls short. She has a fine mind and soul evident in her work and offers us everything — a true bounty.

Steve Douglas, St. Petersburg