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Letters Teachers untrained for support role


Teachers untrained

for support role

I am stunned by the lack of insight shown by Superintendent Robert Avossa and the Palm Beach County School Board. When teachers are asked to establish supportive relationships with their students and listen to their problems, what could possibly go wrong?

What went wrong is that a caring teacher, barely two years out of college, is being fired for doing what she thought was school policy but for which she was pitifully untrained.

In an effort to keep budgets low, guidance counselors here have caseloads too large for them to do an effective job. In spite of having earned master’s degrees in counseling, most of a counselor’s time here is devoted to clerical work. Very seldom are they involved with “counseling.”

When I was a high school guidance counselor on Long Island, I had a caseload that varied from 200 to 225 students, grades 9 to 12, and I met with each one at least once a year and very often with the parents also. Because each student had the same counselor all four years, we came to know them well and were able to establish trusting and nurturing relationships. We were encouraged to run counseling groups and worked closely with the school psychologist.

I urge the Palm Beach County School Board, instead of asking untrained teachers to counsel children, to evaluate, strengthen and grow their Guidance Department in an effort to help grow the “whole child,” not only the academic.

LISA STEWART, LAKE WORTH

Lean on unforthcoming

Lantana developer

There was much excitement among Lantana residents when the site of the old A.G. Holley Hospital was sold in 2014 and the Water Tower Commons project was announced.

We were told this would be a project bringing high-end commercial and residential units to the area and help to make Lantana a destination in Palm Beach County. Kudos to the Lantana Town Council for denying the developer’s initial plans that were basically “just another shopping center.”

I contacted the developer on several occasions asking what tenants had been lined up. Each time I was told “soon.” Last fall I was told announcements would begin in December. Recently, I contacted the developer and have received no response. The only announcement to come out was that the “high-end apartments” would have rents from $1,500 to $2,000. Not bad, but not what I would consider high-end.

After not receiving a response regarding tenants and noticing the snail’s pace of the development work, I contacted the Town Council to see if they had any information. I was told the only thing they heard was that there would be a “neighborhood Wal-Mart” grocery store and that the developer was not being very forthcoming with them, either. Nothing against Wal-Mart, but certainly not high-end. Lantana is desperately in need of the tax revenue this project should bring so it can improve our community.

I think it’s time both the Town Council and residents of Lantana applied pressure to the developer to follow through on its commitment, as well as communicate what is going on.

ROB SCHWARTZ, LANTANA

Scott’s proposal

a puzzlement

I was puzzled by Gov. Rick Scott’s health care proposal to President Donald Trump. As quoted in Monday’s Post article, “Trump team divided on Obamacare replacement,” (Feb. 27), Scott suggested cutting required benefits to allow people “to buy insurance that fits them.”

Does he mean that well-off people can buy lots of insurance benefits and poor people can buy poor benefits or get along without?

CHARLES PLOTKIN, DELRAY BEACH

All we are saying is

give Trump a chance

A few years ago, John Lennon wrote a song, “Give Peace a Chance.” Today, I think we should be saying “Give Trump a Chance.”

President Donald Trump has made many promises, and I believe he will follow through on those promises. You might be surprised to see what a good president he can be!

It appears that the country is divided between political party and social philosophies. Remember the old saying “United we stand, divided we fall.” We need to get past our divisions and recall that we are all Americans. Use our patriotism to bring us together. I would love to say that I live in the United States, not the divided states.

The future is built on today’s thoughts, actions and intentions.

Let’s try to work together as United States citizens who love our fellow brothers and sisters. If we work together today, America can be a wonderful place to call our home tomorrow. One nation under God.

DONNA RAVEN, PALM BEACH SHORES

Is nothing sacred

to Americans now?

In a time where Native American sacred sites are at risk for the sake of profit, and the heartbreaking news of a vandalized Jewish cemetery, I wonder, is nothing in our American culture sacred anymore?

Declining respect for differences and humanity modeled by our president has only widened the gap between hate and wholeness. Religious leaders in our communities must work toward unity, not divisiveness. No matter your faith, we are all called to resist being disjoined by encouraged intolerance and persecution.

Native Americans and Jews have seen their sacred sites spat on because of fear. The fear and anxiety of difference in religion, culture, language, skin color, who we love and what we believe creates conditions for desecration. These conditions are strengthening with the everyday news of our government dehumanizing and criminalizing those who are different, those who seek justice, and the poorest with the least rights.

As people of faith, all faiths, we must return to the message of our faith. That is, turn to respect, humility, mercy, and charity. We must create, honor and protect sacredness, for soon nothing will be sacred.

CJ McGREGOR, NORTH PALM BEACH



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