Letters

Kropola: Retirement for the Ethically Challenged
I read with great interest Ted B. Kissell's article "The Naming Game" (October 22) regarding school board member Dr. Michael M. Krop. Perhaps Dr. Krop should designate Krop High School as a dental magnet academy. That way he could collect an extra salary as chairman of the dental department.

Dr. Krop talks about his sacrifices. My opinion about all these ethically challenged politicians who believe their sacrifices justify their corruption is that they should retire. There are many other altruistic egomaniacs who would be willing to take their place.

Hector Hirigoyen's remarks "I know how decisions are made in this system" and "After 30 years in the system, I'm done with politics" are so pathetically accurate. The most depressing aspect of the political corruption in Miami is that even when these scumbags are caught in the act and prosecuted, they get a slap on the hand or probation. Just look at the U.S. Attorney's Office, which recently renegotiated its deals so that corrupt politicos [Manohar Surana and Howard Gary] can stay out of jail and keep the millions for which they peddled their influence.

Apparently in Miami a public office is a private trust account.
Alberto Victor Batista
Miami

Kropola: Quite the Classy Guy
The naming of a high school for Michael Krop was only the latest in a series of embarrassing episodes involving this county's school board. Krop's meddling in school operations and personnel decisions was matched by his self-aggrandizement in first promoting the naming scheme and then showing the lack of class to vote for it even though its passage was assured. His feelings are hurt? How about the feelings of the people in that community who wanted a voice in the matter?

Consider what we have here. Thanks to New Times, we know that our superintendent of schools boasts a mail-order degree and his chief deputy tries to promote himself as a male model. The board's senior member, G. Holmes Braddock, is a mean-spirited character who has expressed nothing but contempt for the people he supposedly serves. Naturally he also has a high school named for him. His most recent accomplishment, by which he managed to embarrass this community nationwide, was to insist that teachers be required to have their students recite the Pledge of Allegiance with no pause between "one nation" and "under God." This idiotic measure passed. Krop voted for it, as did almost every other member of the board.

The school system managed to have a $980 million bond issue passed in 1988. I regret having supported that even more than I regret having helped Krop campaign in Miami Beach in 1980. The district now has three separate administration buildings conveniently linked by costly walkways, while teachers continue dipping into their own pockets for daily supplies.

Having been involved in area political campaigns for twenty years, I am well aware that our school system is the employer of last resort for politicians who are trying to get their friends, relatives, and proteges jobs on the public payroll even though they've been turned down everywhere else.

We now have schools named after four current board members, but none named after George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps Solomon Stinson, another loser on the board and its chief promoter of these renamings, will now concentrate on all the elementary and middle schools named after respected and heroic figures of the past. Then, in true South Florida fashion, he will have them renamed after political hacks and convicted criminals.

Richard H. Rosichan
Miami Beach

Kropola: Giving New Meaning to Indentured Servitude
The naming of Dr. Michael M. Krop High School begets the question of their mascot. Will it be the Fightin' Orthodontists? The Raging Egos? The Back Scratchers? (Sample cheer: I'll vote for you, you vote for me, together we'll achieve victory!)

Perhaps we should honor all Dade politicos with the Greedy Greenbacks or the Unindicted Co-conspirators. (Sample cheer: Our team is great, we're on fire, we can't be beat unless you're wearing a wire!)

Hey, instead of politicians, why not honor locals who've made it big in entertainment. We could then have Estefan High with their mascot the St. Glorias, or the Fighting Demonspawn of the Marilyn Manson Troubled Youth Magnet School. (Sample cheer: You can't win, this game you'll be hatin', 'cause we've already sacrificed your cheerleaders to Satan!)

Errol Portman
Coral Gables

Kropola: Chasing Fame
I believe school board members have spent too much time arguing about the name of the school and not enough time concerning themselves with the important issue: the students at Krop High. They should put their negative energy to good use and try to ensure that the students there get the highest-quality education possible.

After all, what is the value of a name on a high school? I went through elementary and middle school without ever learning about the person for whom the school was named. I am almost certain the majority of students at Dr. Michael M. Krop Sr. High School do not know who Dr. Krop is and really do not care.

When students identify with a school, they think of their instructors, friends, and personal experiences, not the person whose name appears on the front of the school. Is this really a good way to be memorialized?

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