A 17-year-old, Claverle “C.J.” Joseph, was murdered on his way to the school bus to go to his high school on the morning of April 5 (“PBSO: Teen killed on the way to Lake Park bus stop”). By Thursday, I could not find anything in the newspaper about his death. Why are we as a community willing to accept this boy’s death without more outrage?
I know nothing about this young man or his neighborhood or his life, but I am certain that his family and friends are heartbroken. I also know that his life had value. I cannot accept that we are a community that will shrug off a teen’s death because he is “other” — a different race, economic background or neighborhood than our own.
We should all mourn this high school junior. We need to talk about what is wrong in our community that led to this kind of murder, and why no one was able to protect him after he was targeted a week before. There is an equally important question of why we don’t seem to care.
It is sickening that Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa would go on TV and stumble about this event (“Pep rally stunt sparks fire at Atlantic High,” March 16). The obvious reason is that he is trying to protect his job and that of others.
These people are supposed to be in a position to make a decision, which goes up the ladder of supervision, which apparently has no concerns. Where is the School Board response to this event? Are they going to take proper action?
Does Rena Blades, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County’s executive director, really think that giving millions to cultural organizations will “create prosperity for our community” (Feb. 24)? She needs to open her eyes to Lake Worth, where the Cultural Council resides, and look beyond that white building to the homeless people around the corner.
She needs to explore the Guatemalan community, where there often are several families living under one roof.
Will the prosperity spread to those populations, too?
Does it matter that in our school system, our children are no longer taught cursive, nor do they learn typing skills — typing with only two fingers? Mike Murgio, a Palm Beach County School Board member, is “having a problem understanding” that the School District could take a $10 million hit because of the cultural groups.
I am exposed to many nonprofit organizations — cultural as well as human services — and support many of them. They rely on caring, compassionate community members for support.
I understand our community thrives on tourism, but we need to educate our youth by teaching them how to be the next leaders of this country. Without the proper education, these children won’t even be able to spell “Cultural Council,” let alone support it.
BEVERLEE MILLER RAYMOND, PALM BEACH
Editor’s note: Beverlee Miller Raymond is president of the nonprofit Extraordinary Charities.
Re: the story “Cultural groups seek slice of tax hike” (Feb 24): The .5 percent sales-tax increase for the benefit of the county school district is the issue, and it is not greedy. Over a 10-year span, it would provide $1.3 billion more to the district. It is needed and should stand on its own merit and be voted upon.
Generally, people want to help the school district as it helps our next generation.
Other non-related organizations now want to be included in receiving money from the school district’s increased sales tax. Now the county government, plus 38 municipalities, want some of the money, which means doubling our sales-tax increase from .5 to 1 percent.
Also, nonprofit cultural organizations want some of the money. This greed versus need takes away from the school district’s original request, as they will now receive $100 million less over 10 years.
Unlike the local governments, these nonprofit cultural organizations can advertise and advocate that the people should vote for this tax increase. This is attractive to the county government organizations because they are prohibited from advertising.
This is similar to the greed we dislike about our national governmental election campaigns, where organizations will give future benefits to other organizations that will help them to win over the public. I will vote yes for the .5 percent school district sales-tax increase if it is presented on its own, but not when grouped with the greedy.