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Letters to the Editors

Maybe Justin belongs in a special school

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 10, 2001


Re: Mom fights for son, 3, kicked off bus.

Editor: At first read, it would appear that the school and bus driver may have gone a little overboard. Then you get further into the article and the real meat of the problem shows:

Mom admits that little Justin is a "handful."

She mentions that Justin had already been kicked out of seven or eight preschools.

The latest school, like the other seven or eight, considers him a chronic troublemaker.

Mom says little Justin doesn't curse? Right.

First, there are some parents with young children going to school who may not want their children denied a chance to learn because little Justin doesn't know how to act.

Second, why should other children who may want to learn, and are able to follow rules, be subjected to little Justin's behavior problems?

Third, maybe little Justin belongs in a special facility where he and others like him can learn or act up, without having a negative impact on the other children.

Finally, Mom says little Justin doesn't curse, yet she herself is quoted as cursing twice within two sentences. Maybe little Justin talks just like Mommy.
-- Thomas V. Haines, New Port Richey

Hyperactivity is no excuse

Editor: Being ADHD is a diagnosis, not an excuse for little Justin's bad behavior. If Renee Remy can't keep control of her son at age 3, what is going to happen when he is 13? I've raised an ADHD son as a single parent. It's not easy, but it's not impossible either. Turn that TV off and take that kid to the park. Stop seeking attention for your child's bad behavior. I would have been embarrassed!
-- Renae Keysmith, Holiday

Mother should take responsibility

Editor: If Mom really wanted to fight for her son, she would take responsibility. Of course, Justin wouldn't mean to harm anyone. It's just the TV!

Of course, Justin is watching very appropriate material. He would never swear either. Mom confirmed that by showing such class in paragraph 12. And why wouldn't Justin think the whole thing is cool and love every minute of it? After threatening to shoot the driver's aide on his bus, Justin was able to stay home all week and ride his bike and eat ice cream! Now that's a punishment Justin won't soon forget.

It's quite clear, Mom and Justin have both learned their lesson!
-- Cindy Johnson, New Port Richey

Teacher inspires a love of reading

Re: Teaching Chelsea how to read, May 6.

Editor: A few days ago my English teacher asked my class to write a poem about our favorite thing. As kids around me started to write about swimming, ice cream and other common interests, I titled mine simply Books. This assignment turned into a long search for the right words. There was too much to write about for a 10-line poem. I needed more like 10 pages, something I never thought possible.

When I was going into third grade, I wouldn't pick up a book if you paid me. I guess it was because I wasn't a very good speller and couldn't understand what I was reading. My parents were always helping me, but nothing changed until Gail Diederich became my third-grade teacher.

She was able to give our class of about 30 the ability to better understand and love reading, not just as a group but individually. Ms. Diederich, through her amazing ways of teaching, taught me to be a better speller and with that ability gave me the passion I still have for reading.

I'm now 15 and in ninth grade at J.W. Mitchell High School. I'm in English honors and on the honor roll. There are many people whom I owe a lot to, who have helped me get to where I am today. But there will always be a huge place in my heart for one very special person. This person has given me one of the greatest gifts, the love for reading! Thank you, Ms. Diederich.
-- Brina Johnson, New Port Richey

Pomp and deadly circumstance

Re: Graduation night is not the time to cut kids loose, May 7 guest column.

Editor: I was pleased that the Times printed the guest column by Ray Gadd about the increased dangers students face at graduation time because of underage drinking.

Students face another danger during that time, though. The statute that protects most minors is 790.174, "Safe storage of firearms required." Underage drinking and unsecured firearms can have a deadly result.

Despite this statute, over 20 percent of the homes in Florida have unsecured firearms. If the parent thinks the child can handle a gun safely, can the child handle both the gun and alcohol safely? Make sure your firearm is always secured, but especially for the high spirits of graduation day.
-- Arthur Hayhoe, Zephyrhills

Dr. Bonati's center is an asset

Editor: Bayonet Point Hudson Regional Medical Center has brought many jobs and visibility to the Hudson area and West Pasco County, and the community, obviously, is very grateful. Just a short distance from this magnificent hospital is another medical facility that deserves a great deal of attention but gets none except the negative kind. This is the Gulf Coast Orthopedic Center, on the corner of U.S. 19 and Hudson Avenue and operated by Dr. Alfred Bonati since 1981.

In addition to the health benefits that Dr. Bonati's facility brings, the economic boost to Hudson is unmatched. His has a staff of over 100 skilled people, and the patients who require lodging number about 25 to 30 weekly. His staff will arrange to put these people in furnished homes or condos or in one of the local motels. Most of them rent cars and frequent the local eateries. It's difficult to estimate the dollar amount that this brings to the community, but it's substantial.

I think the local people should rally around Dr. Bonati and his staff. Hudson needs more like him.
-- Al L. Meyer, Hudson

Only liberals need apply?

Editor: In order to work for the St. Petersburg Times you must be:

A card-carrying liberal.

Against the death penalty.

Politically correct.

A lover of higher taxes.

For affirmative action.

Soft on crime.

Against gun ownership.

The St. Petersburg Times even tells you who to vote for.
-- Charles Kreizer, New Port Richey

Share your views

The Pasco Times welcomes letters from readers for publication.

Because of space limitations, letters should be of reasonable length (250 to 300 words maximum as a rule).

Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

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Send your letter to Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668.

Also, the Pasco Times Web discussion forum can be found at www.sptimes.com/pascoforum.

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