Letters to the Editor

From the issue of November 23, 2000

"All persons employed by the School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida, are representatives of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. As such they are expected to conduct themselves, both in their employment and in the community, in a manner that will reflect credit upon themselves and the school system." (Emphasis added; school board rule 6Gx13-4A-1.21.)

What's missing in Mr. Lindeblad's case? Obviously clear-cut negative consequences are missing if the salary decrease associated with his new job won't take effect until July 2001. And meanwhile, as reported, Mr. Lindeblad received a salary increase.

Those who make the rules need to be ready, willing, and able to enforce them now -- not July 2001, like some delayed payment plan advertised by a local furniture company.

Lucy Margolis
Miami

Dreams of School District Accountability
Be prepared to sleep for a long, long time: As an attorney, and as a favor to a friend in the school system, I looked into several allegations of abusive conduct by a security guard at one of Miami-Dade's junior high schools. After being told by teachers and counselors at the school that they had witnessed the abuse by the security guard on young students, I immediately contacted Norman Lindeblad.

I advised him of the situation and informed him that I could deliver to him signed affidavits from the teachers by the end of the day. Mr. Lindeblad, as the head of the Office of Professional Standards, wanted nothing to do with the matter and began screaming for no apparent reason. I suggested that the security guard be suspended with pay until the matter was fully resolved. Mr. Lindeblad actually had the nerve to tell me that "no one tells him how to do his job." Real ego! He showed no emotion about the complaints but began screaming when he thought someone was telling him how to "do his job."

Luckily the guard was forced to resign (without Mr. Lindeblad's help). A few months passed and then I read that Mr. Lindeblad was caught on Biscayne Boulevard allegedly soliciting an undercover cop posing as a prostitute. His arrest for solicitation, and my experience with him, demonstrates that he is in no position to be involved in the education of our children.

Having been involved in the protracted legal dispute against Demetrio J. Perez, who attempted to run for the District 7 school-board seat by claiming to have lived in a shed, I can't say I am surprised to hear about another sad turn involving the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Perhaps eventually we will clean up our schools and place some accountability in our elected board members and administrators. Unfortunately it seems we will still have to wait.

Danny Marti
Miami

Raving Loonies
Just who is on drugs here? After reading Brett Sokol's "Raver Madness" ("Kulchur," November 9), I have to ask: Who funds organizations like the Miami Coalition for a Safe and Drug-Free Community and people like Coalition communications director Bernie Diaz to open their mouths and spew lies? If cough syrup contained MDA, it would be the most popular over-the-counter medication in history!

These people must be on drugs themselves because there is no way an intelligent human could come up with such "facts" unless he was hallucinating. Misinformation is the main reason for society's negative view of the rave community, not to mention the rave community's role as a scapegoat for America's failed war on drugs.

If more people supported groups like DanceSafe there would be fewer drug-related injuries at raves, and therefore less for the media to exaggerate.

James Tucker
Miami Beach

Raving Robitussin
What you should know about your child's chronic cough: Bernie Diaz of the Miami Coalition for a Safe and Drug-Free Community is quoted as saying, among other banalities, that Robitussin cough syrup contains the illicit drug MDA. This is incorrect. The true active ingredient in Robitussin is DXM, dextromethorphan. Saying that Robitussin contains MDA could actually prompt teens to increase their abuse of cough syrup, as MDA is believed to be a more "desirable" substance -- at least in the world of illicit drugs.

Let's please ask the Miami Coalition not to lead us into hell with their well-intentioned lies.

Ghamal de la Guardia
Miami

What Your Child Should Know about Risk
One dead raver is one too many: "Raver Madness" was very informative, especially to a "square" like me. I'd never heard of the Harm-Reduction Conference or of DanceSafe, but I'm very happy to know that there are concerned citizens out there willing to do more than just preach abstention to young people in our communities.

As we all know, young people -- and people in general -- are going to do exactly what they want to do, when they want to do it, and worry about the consequences later. While this is not the most responsible attitude, people do make mistakes and everyone grows up in his or her own time. But this does not mean we should simply let people die from their youthful misadventures. We as a community want to encourage our young people to begin thinking about their actions and realizing the risks they are taking.

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