Pinellas school chief Grego to retire | Jan. 7
As a recently retired Pinellas County teacher (three years come May), I have several comments regarding the climate of Pinellas schools. During Superintendent Michael Grego’s tenure, the most obvious change to me was the deterioration of student behavior. The last two years I worked, I believe that central administration often prohibited assessing serious consequences for serious misbehavior. The result was the perception that behavior had improved since the data showed fewer school suspensions, but the reality was starkly different. Students roamed the halls and outside areas, were late to class, disrupted instruction, refused to obey simple rules, talked back to adults and got into fights. Many experienced teachers resigned or retired, fewer people became teachers and, of those who did, many decided after a year or two that teaching was simply not for them and left the profession. I am not saying that Superintendent Grego is solely to blame. He obviously is not. However President Harry Truman famously had a sign on his desk that read, “The buck stops here!”
Shelley Foster, Clearwater
One person, one vote | Letter, Jan. 7
I appreciate the letter about eliminating the Electoral College. I understand the writer’s reasoning, but there are things to consider. For example, would the new president need to get a majority of the vote or only a plurality? Keep in mind that in the last eight presidential elections, four times no candidate got 50 percent of the vote (1992, ‘96, 2000, ‘16). Would we then have yet another round of voting between the top two vote-getters or would a plurality be enough to win? And would any plurality be OK — say, 40 percent, 35 percent? Without the Electoral College I believe a number of new parties would form, and many independent candidates would emerge trying to gain some leverage with the new administration. Think countries like Italy, France and Great Britain. The Electoral College serves a purpose; it produces a clear winner.
Chris Core, St. Pete Beach
DeSantis disputes Jan. 6 events were an ‘insurrection’ | Jan. 7
I care very deeply about what occurred in our Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Whether you call it an insurrection or sedition or a riot or a “terrorist attack” doesn’t matter; it was just plain wrong. I, as a Floridian, am embarrassed by my governor’s inability to see Jan 6 for what it was.
David Drake, Seminole