Ban a book without reading it — really? Letters to the editor, March 26, 2023
Killing zoo funding: That's low
Just when I think that Rep. Randy Fine cannot sink any lower, from his threats to strip funding from West Melbourne and the Special Olympics to his scurrilous attacks on school board member Jennifer Jenkins, he surprises me once again.
Now he has pulled a $2 million state funding request for a Brevard Zoo aquarium project, simply because they are considering a proposal to ban rental of zoo facilities for political campaign events .Given that this money was earmarked towards completing an aquarium that would create 900 jobs and draw an additional 300,000 tourists annually, it seems to be a no-brainer to move forward with the project.
Not to Fine, apparently. He would rather take the petty, retaliatory view and kill the funding.
I wonder when voters are going to see the light and realize that someone who is this small-minded doesn't belong in government.
Robert A. Casey, Palm Bay
What's an educator to do?
Bravo, Josh Humphries. On first reading the article "Instructor cancels rights talk," I was dismayed that one student expressing discomfort could cause an entire class to be canceled.
Then I realized that it was the only action instructor Josh Humphries could take if he wished to avoid disciplinary action, that could potentially include fines and jail time. If all educators canceled every class where even one student expressed discomfort, our education system would shut down.
Susan Griffith, Satellite Beach
A grandmother's mission
What a pleasure today to get my March 19 paper that had a great, awesome article to start the day, regarding Mary Ann Sterling being named Florida's Woman Of The Year by USA TODAY.
Ms. Sterling, who started the organization Grandparents raising Grandchildren, has put a spotlight on a great need that many grandparents have to deal with. Because of the love of family, these grandparents take care of young ones and it is good that this organization will be there to help them.
My praise to her is endless and God has blessed her with the ability to "never give up." It's encouraging that grandparents faced with this situation can turn to Mary Ann Sterling, who deserves commendation for her desire to help others.
Katherine VanderLee, Palm Bay
About history and racism ...
Regarding Mr. Clifford's recent opinion page column stating that "American racism is not a theory, it is historical": Yes, it is. However, critical race theory is theory, and it is undeniably racism.
C.W. Helfeldt, Rockledge
More:You should be outraged by DeSantis' assault on academic freedom | Opinion
Maybe read the book?
Ms. Julie Marshall, an outspoken member of Moms for Liberty, continues that group's assault by banning books they determine inappropriate for school-aged children. In this instance, Ms. Marshall has classified James Patterson's book series "Maximum Ride" as unfit despite never bothering to read any of them. Is the Bible next as it contains some inappropriate references?
Apparently Ms. Marshall, a self-designated book monitor, has the ability to label literature unsuitable through osmosis or some means of telepathy.
I suspect Ms. Marshall believes she's doing the right thing, protecting children from what she considers questionable story lines, but based on what? Supposition, hearsay or direction from some superior being? It's not from reading the books. I fear Moms for Liberty may be causing the direct opposite action as kids' curiosity piques when told not to do something. Do Moms for Liberty suspect some organized plot is afoot to corrupt the minds of our children?
This group of seemingly well intended women would be better served overseeing what their children are viewing on social media as it's rife with erroneous disinformation influencing immature formative minds. Supposed reasonably intelligent adults are reeled in daily believing inane, totally illogical declarations put forth by ignorant instigators distorting facts, creating falsehoods undermining our democracy.
Gregory W. Hewitt, Melbourne
'Stop this madness'
Julie Marshall, a member of the group Moms for Liberty, challenges James Patterson’s "Maximum Ride" series as not belonging in elementary school libraries because they do not have any "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for students."
I ask, how the heck does she know? She hasn’t even read them. This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so crazy. Come on people! This has gone way beyond the bounds of acceptability. We must stop this madness. Write to the governor and your representatives in Congress. Let them know you will not stand for banning books.
Susan Griffith, Satellite Beach
Pondering the pigskin
Football season is over: I'd like to offer some suggestions and comments.
College bands are an integral part of the game and band members work long and hard just like the football players. I think the college presidents ought to demand that the bands be shown at halftime instead of the bobbleheads telling us what we just watched in the first half as though none of us knows anything about football. I think it is about time we get to see the skills the band has developed — for example, The Ohio State University marching band.
As long as we are talking about football, isn't it about time that we get a better definition of what exactly is pass interference and roughing the quarterback? None of the announcers seem to agree. Speaking of announcers, let's get rid of the ones that never stop talking and the ones second guessing every play.
Lastly, let's get rid of those sideline reporters and their meaningless questions of the coaches.
Come on, man, please let us just watch the game.
Bill Jilek, Titusville
This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Book bans: Is the Bible next? Letters to the editor, March 26, 2023