Sunday's letters: Improving schools, choosing candidates, wasting money, more

·4 min read
Protesters both in favor of and opposing the Sarasota County School Board's mask policy gathered outside the Sarasota County School Board building, in Sarasota, in October 2020.
Protesters both in favor of and opposing the Sarasota County School Board's mask policy gathered outside the Sarasota County School Board building, in Sarasota, in October 2020.

A voice of reason at School Board meetings

It was heartening to read about the coalition being formed to support Sarasota’s public schools (“Public schools win support,” Jan. 19). Kudos to Carol Lerner and the other organizers.

For more than a year we have witnessed a small group of angry parents create havoc at School Board meetings, some of whom do not even have children in the district schools. While those with issues and complaints deserve to be heard, they must not be the only voice in the room.

Sarasota County school district has been an ‘A’ rated district since the statewide grading system began in 2004. That hasn’t happened by accident. Hard work, high quality teaching and administration, productive and positive collaboration with each other and with the community have all contributed.

More: How to send a letter to the editor

It’s time for the rabble-rousers at board meetings to think about how they might work to improve the schools, rather than how they might be able to destroy them.

Jill Lewis-Spector, Ed.D., Sarasota

Choose School Board members carefully

I was disappointed when I read in your newspaper on Jan. 14 that only one person (the incumbent) was running to represent District 1 on the Sarasota County School Board. Fortunately, a second person has now filed.

Voters in all three districts holding elections (Districts 1, 4 and 5) will now have a choice when they go to the polls. The dates of the primary election and general election are Aug. 23 and Nov. 8.

I hope voters will learn as much as they can about the candidates by attending forums, going to the candidates’ websites, reading information in newspapers and online, and listening to radio and television coverage.

By being informed, voters can choose the candidates most likely to ensure that our children receive the best possible education. This is important for all of us, even if we don’t have children in school.

Fran Holt, Venice

Unvaccinated health care workers negligent

On Jan. 19, the Herald-Tribune published “Unfair to mandate COVID shots at hospitals.” I had to shake my head.

The letter writer asserted that requiring health care workers to be vaccinated would be “draconian” and would punish “those who are on the front line helping the rest of us.”

By now, every health care worker in America knows, or should know, that the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID is to get vaccinated. The data is incontrovertible and overwhelming.

I cannot fathom how any health care worker could refuse to be vaccinated. There is simply no good reason for it. To me, it amounts to a dereliction of duty.

I am continually amused, in a sad way, by so many people refusing to be vaccinated (or to wear masks) under the rubric of “freedom.”

These people had no problem, I assume, with the mandatory vaccinations they and their children received at birth: Not less than six vaccinations are required for children to enter the Florida public school system.

But require adults to receive a vaccination that protects against the potentially fatal coronavirus, and it's “draconian” and a violation of a person's “freedom.”

Thanks, governor. There’s blood on your hands.

Michael Phelan, Sarasota

Never-ending waste at taxpayers’ expense

I read with some amusement the letter from the reader who waxed indignant over the waste and entitlement of a custodial grandparent who used the child tax credit to give his two granddaughters the luxuries of Girl Scout membership and acting lessons (“Wasting money from child tax credit,” Jan. 19).

Whatever must this grandparent be thinking to provide these things at taxpayer expense, the letter writer bemoaned.

I trust this same letter writer asked for an accounting of the billions that we, the taxpayers, shelled out to corporations and the uber-wealthy with the last tax cut.

Was the letter writer as indignant and critical over the entitlement that led to the purchase of multi-million-dollar yachts by certain legislators – or the stock buybacks by corporations that, after all, were supposed to use the windfall our money provided to benefit their employees?

Where was waste and entitlement in these instances? So I am joining the previous letter writer in asking, "Where does it end?"

Susan Cohen, Sarasota

Easing discomfort by whitewashing the past

So, Gov. Ron DeSantis does not want me, as a white guy, to feel discomfort about the past and present overly apparent racism in the U.S. of A. Hmm.

Does that mean I can sue the TV station that broadcast “The Jackie Robinson Story” just last week? If not, maybe he can help me not feel that horrid discomfort again by sending his proposed “Voting Police” to my house to take down my antenna.

Mike Chambers, Sarasota

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: School coalition to counter rabble-rousers, never-ending waste

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