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Today's Letters: School inequities can't be ignored

Published May 4, 2007


Re: Principal has dubious record letter, May 1

Perhaps instead of lamenting the decline of what he calls the "crown jewel of the Pinellas school district" (Palm Harbor University High School), letter writer Walter Noble should consider why such an enormous disparity exists between Gibbs and Palm Harbor high schools in the first place.

Perhaps we should ask why questions of racial and socio-economic injustice are not considered before principals are excoriated in the St. Petersburg Times.

More importantly, we must ask why those factors seem to play such a large role in determining the quality of each student's educational experience 50 years after schools were desegregated by court order.

I fear for the future of our public schools when shortsighted selfishness leads to a highly segregated, astoundingly inequitable system and the questions being raised are not "Why do the poor get such a raw deal?" but "Why aren't the middle class and rich getting what they're accustomed to?"

Parents of Palm Harbor University High students, be vigilant indeed. You may do everything you can to ensure that your children receive an education superior to other public school students who are, according to the laws of our country, their equals in every way. The advantages you procure for them now will mean frightfully little when they must live in a community with students whose education you did not deem important enough to fight for.

This sort of ravenous self-interest tears at the very fabric of our democracy. Do not be surprised when your sons and daughters reap the terrible fruits of your unwillingness to work for a quality education for all of our students.

Dane E. Boston, Dunedin


Principal is to be commended

Re: Survey shows school concerns story, April 28

As a veteran teacher at Palm Harbor University High School, I would like to express my concern with the negative statements your newspaper has published in regard to our principal, Herman "Doc" Allen.

I have the utmost respect for Dr. Allen. He is not new to this school, as he previously held the position of assistant principal. I worked with him on several committees. I have always found him to be very approachable. He is a true gentleman and I feel he has shown the utmost caring and responsibility toward staff and students.

I commend him for his swift action against acts of vandalism and disrespect that our school has experienced in recent months.

Leni Weaver Fernndez, Palm Harbor


Treat vandalism suspects as adults

Re: Two men face charges in school vandalism story, May 1

I read the article about the two boys who allegedly spray- painted racial slurs on the portables at Palm Harbor University High School.

I'm sorry for every one of those students who had to come to school and see what such immature and hateful individuals there are in the world.

However, I'm more outraged at the thoughtless father of one of those charged with the crime. This poor excuse for a father actually tried explaining this away like it was kids being kids. Am I on another planet?

An 18- and 19-year-old are out at 3 a.m (okay, why?), allegedly spray-paint racial slurs against two very specific groups (African-Americans and Jews) and, by the way, they are drinking, too. Last I heard, the legal age for drinking in the state of Florida is 21. Apparently, the father's okay with this. And he says it is not really a hate crime.

These kids should be charged as adults with a hate crime and to the full extent of the law.

Michael Wolf, Palm Harbor


Your voice counts

You may submit a letter to the editor for possible publication through our Web site at, or by faxing it to (727) 445-4119, or by mailing it to Letters, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. You must include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

[Last modified May 4, 2007, 06:30:23]

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