Kudos to Rebecca.

Roger J. London

North Miami

Education the Beetle Bailey Way
Padron has nothing on the thugs at the school district: Despite Gaspar González's damning portrait of Miami-Dade Community College and its president, Eduardo Padron ("Fear and Loathing in la Escuela," December 6, 2001), the situation at that institution pales in comparison to what teachers must contend with at Miami-Dade County Public Schools. While MDCC has only one Eduardo Padron to worry about, the school district has many like him, especially in the field of adult education, where standards for how one treats employees are less stringent owing to the relatively high number of part-timers and a comparatively diminished state of curriculum control.

It is here at our public schools that the size of your buttocks has more to do with whether you'll get an adult-center administrative position than your ability to manage the lives of those assigned to your care and supervision. Our school district has succumbed to the demands of politicians in placing certain people in key positions. And like Eduardo Padron, these people are no more competent to run a school than Beetle Bailey. They are thugs dressed as administrators, acting outside the scope of their authority and using Hitleresque tactics to destroy the lives of others, corrupting every ethical rule of business, including that which prohibits a member of the board to act out of self-interest. And as Gaspar González's subsequent article on Padron demonstrated ("Just the Stacks, Ma'am," December 20), these thug-types are willing to sacrifice our most sacred rights (i.e., freedom of speech) to achieve their goals.

Please do not mention Fidel Castro. Terrorism is alive and well right here in the banana republic. This power pattern in Miami -- whether involving the likes of Padron, Penelas, or school-board politicos -- would not be effective if decent people had fought it from the start. With the public at large apathetic about politics and local politicians zealous about procuring money or sex in return for professional advancement, we as a community have abdicated our civic responsibilities.

With money now in short supply, it's going to be fun watching the slime rise to the top as it fights and squirms among itself to retain whatever shred of power or ego is left to go around.

Name Withheld by Request

Miami

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