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Kids are going to normal school in Florida, where parents and teachers are no less loving

We typecast Southerners as hicks (or worse), but I am increasingly convinced they’re smarter than us city slickers.

Could it be that parents and teachers in Florida understand the risks just fine — and they realize that kids, who face a minuscule risk from COVID-19, belong in school?” asks a Sun-Times reader.
AP Photos

Because schooling is all virtual in Chicago’s public schools right now, we took our kids to Grandma’s in Florida for Thanksgiving and plan to stay through New Year’s. My kids, ages 9, 13 and 15, have quickly made friends with some neighborhood kids here in Florida — kids who are physically in school and doing just fine.

It makes me wonder, do the parents of children in Florida love their kids less? Do the teachers in Florida care less about everybody’s health and welfare than the teachers do in Chicago? Teachers in Florida have not gone on strike or protested having to teach school in actual classrooms.

Or, instead, could it be that parents and teachers here in Florida understand the risks just fine — and they realize that kids, who face a minuscule risk from COVID-19, belong in school? Or at a minimum, that all parents should be given a choice as to whether their children attend regular school.

We typecast Southerners as hicks (or worse), but I am increasingly convinced they’re smarter than us city slickers.

James McIntosh, Roscoe Village

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be 350 words or less.

First responders and the elderly first

Who should be first in line for the coronavirus vaccine?

First responders first. The elderly second. They are the most susceptible to dying from the virus. And that means the elderly of all races and creeds, as long as they are citizens of this country and have requested the vaccine.

Neil Filipello, Crete

Post-Madigan reforms

The Better Government Association now reports that Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan appears not to have the votes to keep his job this January.

Finally, enough Democrats are showing the spine to stand up to his political machine. With Madigan gone, maybe now’s the time to make some serious long overdue changes to the way Illinois goes about its business.

End lobbying by elected officials, past and present. This has been the core source for corruption for so long. Bribery is an accepted way of doing business.

End double-dipping. Elected officials should not have another job, especially a job that creates a direct conflict of interest with their elected position — such as a law firm that gets business from the state.

Establish term limits. We should never again have the same single person in charge of Springfield for 30 years. Would a ballot vote by the citizens on the House speaker position be a reasonable way to limit influence? After all, the speakers’ decisions affect all the people of Illinois, not just those who live in the speaker’s Chicago ward.

We’ve been talking ethics reform for so long that we are tired of hearing about it. But nothing has changed. We’re still sending elected officials off to prison through a revolving door.

I have lived in Illinois all of my life, so I don’t know how much greener the grass is on the other side. Seriously, do other states deal with this level of corruption? Or are we living in a bubble of our own unique creation?

Scot Sinclair, Third Lake