Speak Up

Why Nikolas Cruz killed

Months after the Miami Herald printed my Feb. 26 letter responding to another about mental health issues being the underlying cause of mass shootings, the Herald published a half page opinion piece that places the blame right where it belongs — on students who bully, berate, ostracize and make fun of fellow students until one of them decides they can’t take it anymore.

Thank you, Kai Koerber, for an honest assessment of the school shootings.

Mark Osman, Kendall

Stand up to Trump

On May 20, the Herald profiled Richard Gregorie who, after 45 years, retired from the Department of Justice.

For the past 18 years, he served with distinction in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. In the 1980s, he served as my chief assistant when I was U.S. Attorney.

At his retirement last week, representatives of the entire federal law enforcement community turned out to honor him.

These folks put their lives on the line to protect the people of South Florida. These are the people President Trump attacks daily.

However, more reprehensible than Trump’s conduct is the silence of our Republican U.S. representatives, including Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. (For the record, I was appointed to my position by President Ronald Reagan.)

These legislators, and the people they represent, benefit directly from the sacrifices Gregorie and the rest of the law enforcement community have made.

The lawmakers’ failure to stand up to Trump’s unfounded attacks is shameful and they must be replaced in November by people who will stand up for constitutional norms irrespective of what party they represent.

I don’t know how they can sleep at night.

Leon Kellner, Coral Gables

Immigrant teens

Re the May 20 story, “Immigrant teens being pushed into adult education programs:” Thanks to the Herald and its writers for a most interesting article.

Like everything in life, education is changing. The article states, “there is no one-size-fits-all solution.” The situation with the immigrant students is a very serious one, particularly here in South Florida.

Sadly, school test scores seems to be a priority.

A GED education is not what most people think; with the best of intentions, Success Management Academies appears unsuccessful in helping students learn English. Lawsuits are not the solution.

The article made no mention of charter schools, which exist and survive receiving public funds; they must be part of a solution.

Everyone must work to ensure that these young people have at their hands the same opportunities to succeed in an ever-changing world as English speaking students.

Teresa Fernandez Burke,

South Miami

Adult education

Re the May 20 article “Immigrant teens being pushed into adult education programs.”

After tutoring for 10 years at The English Center (TEC), an adult education center with a thriving GED program, I think another side of the issue should be presented.

With its effective administration and cadre of excellent teachers, TEC provides a nurturing environment, educates immigrant teens in English and prepares them for a GED (which is equal to a high school diploma).

I have seen myriad graduates go on to university, join the military and find gainful employment.

Not to be overlooked are the community service projects completed by each class every semester.

After 30 years of teaching, I submit that adult education centers provide yet another option for those who had no choices in their native countries.

Kudos to TEC and all other quality adult education centers that offer this invaluable service.

Patricia Singleton,

Coral Gables

Miami drivers

My wife and I travel a fair amount and have experienced driving conditions in several cities around the country.

Some cities are notable for residents’ courteous and safe driving habits.

Other cities, most notably Minneapolis, Chicago and Boston, to name three, are not.

Miami rates a top spot on that list.

We have seldom seen more aggressive, dangerous and rude behavior than we have experienced in Miami.

You all live in a beautiful garden and should be happy and content to be there.

You need to chill!

David Bersch,

Eugene, Oregon

Join a union

People who are affected by the latest Supreme Court ruling on employment contracts should join or form a union, since they can’t unite in a class-action suit, but have to go to arbitration over any dispute over wages.

With a union, they can achieve a contract that would state anybody doing the same job gets the same pay.

They won’t have to worry about losing their job for challenging a wage difference.

They will have a union to fight their cause.

Michael Shohen,


Second Amendment

The Second Amendment and gun ownership by private citizens have existed for more than two centuries.

Historically, school shootings are a relatively recent socio-criminal phenomenon that was unheard of prior to Columbine in 1999.

Rather than trying to outlaw firearms, perhaps we should focus on what are our children are being exposed to and why are some of them reacting the way they have.

Rey Valdes,


Taught in class

I am disturbed that schools do not teach geography, world history or American history and cursive writing. They no longer have physical education to ward off atrophy of mind.

Our nation’s youth are using texting acronyms and Google research, rather than reading and writing to learn, relying on rote, not study. This minimizes retention.

Unable to remember and learn from the mistakes opens the door to those who would compromise our constitutional safeguards.

According to a former New York Observer editor who was concerned about Donald Trump’s Obama birtherism claims, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner told her: ‘He just knows Republicans are stupid and they’ll buy it.’

Trump would rather be king than govern democratically. He ignores the rule of law. Remember, another “Trojan horse,” from Germany, rose to power as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

H. Allen Benowitz,


“Offensive’ column

Jay Ambrose’s May 24 column, “Was it OK to spy on the Trump campaign? Let’s find out — the right way,” was inflammatory and offensive. Beginning with the attack on The New York Times and followed by the accusation that the previous administration spied on a political campaign, his language obviously was chosen to lead to false conclusions.

Sally Dieguez,

Cooper City