Re: Handcuffs on 13-year-old "excessive,' parents say , story, Nov. 30.
A couple of years ago in New York, we had a similar incident where a police officer wanted to board a school bus. The officer wanted to address a student who had disrupted traffic by throwing something through a window. However, the results were completely different than in the recent incident, because the bus driver understood her responsibility.
A bus driver is charged with safely transporting students between their bus stop and their school. While doing this, the driver should never let anyone aboard that bus who isn't a registered student or emergency medical personnel.
In our New York incident, the officer saw an object go out the window and stopped the bus and demanded to board. The driver stated that school policy prohibited anyone boarding the bus and that he had two choices: She could find the student, if possible, and bring that child to the steps of the bus for discussion, or he could follow the bus to its destination and deal with things there.
Her determination prevailed. He chose to speak with the child on the bus steps, while she stood by as a witness. An incident report was filed upon arrival at the school, and the student was dealt with on all levels, from parent to principal.
As a parent, I want to know that when I hand a student over to school personnel each day, barring the most extreme circumstances, the child's day is predictable and safe. The best things about our New York incident were that the parents had renewed confidence that our children were in good hands, and the students understood the driver was protecting them and felt safe.
The children on the Pinellas school bus in Safety Harbor probably do not feel safe on their bus since they were part of this very intimidating event. All were forced to listen to the police officer's harsh lecture. A student was scared, humiliated - and handcuffed! We can assume that translated into several other scared students.
It wasn't right, but the officer wasn't the only one in the wrong. No one should be allowed to board a school bus that is transporting students. If this policy does not yet exist here, it should be instituted right away. If it does exist, this event calls for more training.
On a recent Sunday afternoon, there was a lovely holiday concert by the Clearwater Chorus at Ruth Eckerd Hall - until the Red Hat ladies arrived with huge hats to spoil the concert for many of us because we could no longer see around or over the big hats. How thoughtless!
Dr. Johnny Ray Jones asked the audience to turn off all cell phones during the concert. Next time, maybe he could ask for big hats to be removed.
Re: Traffic tickets mean road safety, not speed traps , letter, Nov. 21.
I heartily endorse the statements of the letter writer, even if he is much younger than I. He should realize, of course, that speeding drivers don't have time to read - either speed-limit signs or "letters to the editor." (Many are too engrossed in their cell phone calls.)
About the time the writer got his first driver's license, a small town in Minnesota put up a sign at each end of town: "Speed limit 30 mph. Penalty for speeding is $1 per mph over the speed limit. Drive at the speed you can afford."
Yes, at least one auto club declared the town a "speed trap."