In a world of school uniforms, what is it about masks? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Friday’s letters to the editor.
A student holds a mask on the first day of school for Hillsborough County students, at Hillsborough High School on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020 in Tampa.
A student holds a mask on the first day of school for Hillsborough County students, at Hillsborough High School on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020 in Tampa. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]
Published Aug. 20, 2021

Masks? Think dress codes

Hillsborough defies governor on masks | Aug. 19

The idea that whether or not a child wears a face mask in school is subject to parental choice is contrary to just about everything else that goes on in public schools. Parents have zero choice about other aspects of the dress code. If my long-legged eighth-grader can’t find any shorts that meet the length rules other than granny pedal-pushers she hates, that is just too bad. If my sensory sensitive first-grader finds collared shirts make him want to jump out of his skin, that is just too bad. We have dress code decisions for a reason. I am a sane adult, so I recognize that large group settings have to have rules. I may not agree with them, but I accept them unless it is a serious problem for my child. If my child doesn’t like the rules, I help him or her understand why we have them and how to cope with things we don’t like. It is so sad that the issue of face masks, a life-saving small inconvenience, has become the subject of so much irrational angst in this community.

Marlene Rubin, Tampa

Make masks cool

Hillsborough defies governor on masks | Aug. 19

Hillsborough County joins Florida’s other two largest school boards to require masks in schools during an unprecedented rise in COVID-19 cases. Who knows? Maybe rebellious acts like this may make mask-wearing cool and start a trend to put an end to this seemingly endless epidemic.

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

Pinellas is up next

Hillsborough defies governor on masks | Aug. 19

Congratulations to the Hillsborough County School Board for its mask mandate. It is now Pinellas County’s turn. Please save our kids. Parents and kids and everyone need to get vaccinated now — today, right now! Please do your part to save our kids, to save everyone!

Judy Lavaron, St. Petersburg

No movie ending

Pennant race and sparse crowds? Gotta be Rays | Romano column, Aug. 15

Recently, Tampa Bay Times sports columnist John Romano asked community leaders to sum up the Rays’ attendance struggles in one word. Here is the word they missed: impossible. I have studied the market here for nearly 10 years, and the odds are completely stacked against the Rays ever having anywhere close to average attendance. No one wants to admit that St. Pete politicians made a huge generational blunder when they built Tropicana Field. They destroyed an historic neighborhood in an area too far from the population center because the land was cheap. They believed “if you build it, they will come.” That only works in the movies. Since then, other local leaders have doubled down on spring training. I don’t think leaders in Tampa, Clearwater, Dunedin and Bradenton really care if the Rays leave. They can still hobnob with baseball every spring. Imagine if the Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers trained in the home of the Lightning. In order for the Rays to be successful in the stands, they need a centralized location and a monopoly of baseball interest in the area. Until Tampa Bay gives them that, and majority owner Stu Sternberg opens up his wallet for a new stadium, the Tampa Bay Rays will struggle to fill seats.

Michael Lortz, Tampa