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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Today's Letters: Treated stray cats shouldn't be freed
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published June 27, 2007
Trapped, snipped: A stray's lucky day June 18 story
While sterilizing and vaccinating stray cats is well-intentioned, releasing them back to roam neighborhoods doesn't help the environmental problems they create. Cats are natural hunters and negatively impact the bird populations that help control insects. Yes, cats do feed on mice and rats, but this role can easily be fulfilled by hawks, eagles and snakes that are natural members of the environment.
Feral cats should be caught, evaluated for adoption potential and, if not adoptable based on their behavior profiles, as are stray dogs, they should be put down.
Fred Dunlop, Port Richey
Aspiring teacher says firing wrong
After reading the article about Barbara Heggaton being fired, I was shocked and upset. I think the decision by the School Board is far too extreme. They are simply making an example out of her, and that is unfair and cruel.
Twenty years' experience and being teacher of the year should count for something. Apparently it is more important for the School Board to send a message that one mistake and you're out of here. Who hired the incompetent people to make sure the FCAT got graded incorrectly? Did that person pay for their mistake? I doubt it.
I recently graduated from the University of South Florida with my degree in education and I am seriously considering whether I want to work in Pasco County.
Ms. Heggaton should be held accountable, but her firing was not warranted. Moon Lake Elementary lost a valuable teacher and the School Board members should be ashamed for their decision. Firing her was not the only choice. I hope something can be done to fix this.
Joanna Hirsch, Holiday
Firing teacher a dastardly action
A School Board should act with authority, seasoned with compassion. Firing Barbara Heggaton bordered on sophism.
Barbara Heggaton is a schoolteacher, not an astronaut. Her primary responsibilities were to her children. She may have let her love and devotion to her special education students supersede the ridiculous requirements of the much-maligned FCAT. However, there is hardly a principal, teacher, parent or School Board member, who in their heart of hearts, doesn't want the FCAT to go away. Now we have a teacher who acted on her feelings to help her students. Firing her is a dastardly act. Common sense (obviously rare) should prevail.
School Board members, in their rush to judgment, need a good dose of the compassion Ms. Heggaton has displayed.
Lilyan Dayton, New Port Richey
Kick out FCAT, not this teacher
Teacher gets fired for doing what the school system expects her to do but without being found out. Pass the FCAT!
What happened to the weekly, monthly, quarterly, mid year and year-end tests we had to prepare for in the old days? You failed, you went to summer school. Our parents were there to see what we were doing with our homework, even the single parents, like my dad.
I feel sorry that this teacher has been dealt with in a dishonest manner. All the schools want to know is the children pass the FCAT so their own careers are safe. There are children who are slow learners or don't grasp it at all, but can very well become productive individuals in society.
To me, this teacher had her heart and conscience in the right place. Her compassion was for her students. Seems to me, along with kicking out the FCAT, we need to clear out some of the individuals running the school system.