The school board should not silence citizens
As a member of this community since 1958 and a teacher at a public school in Sarasota County for 35 years, I was shocked to read that our school board is in fact proposing to severely restrict the “public” aspect of our school system. public (“school board talks about change to public contribution,” September 23). History shows that school board members are elected to represent the citizens of their district.
Currently, the Sarasota County School Board is proposing very restrictive limits on public participation. Obviously, with the increase in contentious issues and angry citizens, the School Board could and should propose rules to regulate behavior. These rules are justified and necessary for public safety.
However, the school board should not respond with instinctive proposals designed to hide public comment.
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Talking about a key issue for just three minutes, the time allotted now, is hard enough. With the proposal in hand, I could be given as little as a minute to explain my concerns if there were more than a board-defined number of other people wishing to address the same issue.
Hopefully I can speak to this issue before the majority of our current school board members rule out the possibility entirely.
Ronald Carr, Sarasota
A better solution to chaotic meetings
I believe the proposed changes to the hearing of citizens before the Sarasota County School Board are the wrong answer to the right question (“School Board Discussions Change for Public Participation,” September 23). Admittedly, the meetings have become chaotic and disturbing. This must be taken into account.
However, I think the proposed changes will play into the disruptors’ game. Charges of losing their “free speech” rights, labeling board members as dictators etc. will result. Social media is going to go ballistic.
Changes that would make sense are where comments are placed on the agenda. Comments after the Superintendent’s report may be limited to agenda items. Other comments could come at the end of the meeting.
While it can be painful, I can’t stand changes in the number of people or the 3 minute delay. We are in the middle of a storm. No time to make changes. At some point, it will pass.
I support the appointment of a parliamentarian, whose job would be to maintain order and apply the rules fairly. This would take the burden of maintaining order away from the chairperson of the school board, which would allow him to attend to the affairs of the board.
Prayers offered for counseling could also be directed to disruptors.
Rhana Bazzini, Sarasota
Welcoming Desperate Haitian Immigrants to the United States
I voted for President Joe Biden. Of course I did. He’s smart, he’s experienced, and he’s kind. At least I thought he was.
I just returned from two weeks volunteering with Catholic Charities at the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, TX. While I was there, I went to Reynosa, Mexico, and saw the tent city with 2,000 refugees waiting in 100 degree heat for the chance to claim asylum.
Then I came home to read about the Haitians in Del Rio, Texas who are flown to Haiti without having the opportunity to be heard.
People don’t come to us by lark. They come because we are their last chance for survival.
Do you know these bracelets, WWJD (What Would Jesus Do)? Ask yourself what he would do today. And do what’s right, even if it’s not necessarily popular.
President Biden, please welcome these immigrants. Help them find homes and work. Do what’s right.
Mary Ginley, Venice
Appreciation for Good Samaritans
On September 20, my father and I had a horrible car accident that made us feel like we had been hit by a train. We were driving on Jacaranda Boulevard, in Venice, under the Interstate 75 overpass, toward Border Road.
Someone detonated the stop sign as if it was invisible, exiting I-75 onto the north exit ramp.
Many people stopped to help us out of the car as they noticed she was smoking. They retrieved my bag and glasses – which I hadn’t even noticed were missing – and also retrieved my father’s computer bag.
So many nice people have stopped by to help that I want to thank them. Having no other way, I figured I could put it in the journal.
I want to thank the firefighters and ambulances 21 and 26 who came to help us, check us out and take us to the emergency room.
Additionally, Florida Highway Patrol Assistant Preston Walker was helpful and kind and came to the hospital with papers for us.
We suffer from the horrible accident and the pressure of being restrained by our seat belts, but they saved our lives.
Fasten your seat belts, folks.
Madeline Bianco, Venice