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School should stick to academic topics

Letters to the Editor
Published February 20, 2005


I count on the public school system to educate my children in academic subjects. My children count on my husband and myself to provide them with their religious education and lessons in morality. They are elementary and middle school students.

I took for granted that River Ridge Middle School had appropriate reading materials in their curriculum. Imagine my horror when my 11-year-old daughter told me she knew what an abortion was when I knew that we had not had that discussion yet. She explained that she had read a book in reading class about a young unwed pregnant teenager who contemplated having an abortion.

Along with many other students in the class, she did not know what an abortion was. Her teacher briefly explained it to them. How wonderful of her teacher to enlighten a room full of 11-year-olds about abortion when this is clearly a parental obligation. Furthermore, the story ends without telling the reader if the young girl chooses life for her baby.

What happened to my right as a parent to discuss such personal issues with my child at a time that I feel my child is mature enough to process such information? Why would a district approve such reading material when it has no educational benefit at all? Remember this was not a health or sex education class. Is it just another way to try and desensitize young children and push an agenda?

I have taught my children the facts of life. My children will always get honest answers about any questions that they have. But can't my child just be a child and not be burdened with such adult subjects? The school district needs to allow my family to discuss abortion and other subjects on my own terms. Morality is not on the school schedule for my children.


-- Michelle Leonick, New Port Richey

Traffic project seems unnecessary

We have been told the cost of the Perrine Ranch Road project will be $20-million for a 2-mile stretch of road. This figure does not take into account the lawsuits and other unexpected costs that will come up between now and the 2007 proposed end date. Most people in our community see a need for wider turn lanes and widening the roads at the intersections on Grand Boulevard and Seven Springs Boulevard, but there certainly is not enough traffic throughout the day to justify this project or the need for people to lose their homes.

Last year, the residents of Oak Ridge were told that Magnolia Estates would have little or no affect on the area's traffic. Now look where we are.


-- Dan Quinn, New Port Richey

Seat belt could have reduced injuries

Re: A race to get married, Feb. 16 A section

Based on what the state trooper on the scene reported to the family of Mr. Sullivan (the driver who hit Ms. Perry), someone had pulled out in front of him or cut him off in traffic, and he somehow wound up in the opposite lane, hitting her head-on as you reported.

The driver of that vehicle did not stop or return to the scene, though there were reportedly several witnesses to the accident.

My heart goes out to Ms. Perry and her family, they have been in our hearts and prayers constantly since the accident, as have Mr. Sullivan and his family. This accident will have long lasting effects on both families, and both drivers will have a very long and difficult road to recovery.

Was it preventable? Most likely, because accidents by nature usually are. However, I think it's important to note that seat belts were not being worn. It seems obvious to me that the simple use of a seat belt in this type of collision would have greatly reduced the massive injuries.

Perhaps the next feature on the consequences of this type of accident should include all of the story, as well as a strong emphasis on how severe injuries can often be prevented by taking two seconds to strap on a seat belt.


-- Nicole Fagan, Holiday

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[Last modified February 20, 2005, 00:53:18]


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