EDITORIAL PRAISE&nays

PRAISE for George Washington High student Katelyn Campbell, who spoke out when her Kanawha County high school gave over part of the school day to Pam Stenzel, a pro-abstinence Christian speaker. Campbell described Stenzel’s talk as “slut shaming,” the implication that those who engage in premarital sexual contact have ruined their lives.

Another student explained it this way: “(Stenzel) was making girls cry. There were pregnant girls in the audience and she was implying, ‘If you had sex, you’re not an OK person.’ ‘I am standing up against it is so other schools in West Virginia don’t have to hear this.”

Campbell said her protests outraged GW Principal George Aulenbacher, who, she said, threatened to call Wellesley College, where she’s been accepted for the fall, to say she is a “backstabber” with “bad character.” (Wellesley wasn’t fazed by Aulenbacher’s bluster, later tweeting: “Katelyn Campbell, #Wellesley is excited to welcome you this fall.”)

 

NAY to Logan Middle School’s efforts to stifle a 14-year-old’s right to free speech. Ordered by a teacher to take off or turn inside out a T-shirt bearing the National Rifle Association’s logo and a hunting rifle, Jared Marchum refused, saying his garment wasn’t a violation of school rules.

The dress code posted on Logan County Schools’ website bars clothing and accessories that display profanity, violence, discriminatory messages or sexually suggestive phrases as well as those advertising alcohol, tobacco or drug products.

The teacher sent Marchum to the principal’s office where he continued to defend his right to wear the shirt. That’s when police were called in.

“When the police came, I was still talking and telling them that this was wrong, that they cannot do this, it’s not against any school policy,” the eighth-grader told an Associated Press reporter. “The officer, he told me to sit down and be quiet. I said, ‘No, I’m exercising my right to free speech.’”

The boy’s family wants charges of disrupting the educational process and obstructing an officer dropped.

 

NAY to Delegate Denny Ray Canterbury, who prefers to see needy, hungry kids taking on tasks around the school rather than learning in the classroom.

During the debate on state Sen. John Unger’s plan to expand free meal opportunities to West Virginia schoolchildren, the 42-year-old Greenbrier County Republican said: “I think it would be a good idea if perhaps we had the kids work for their lunches – trash to be taken out, hallways to be swept, lawns to be mowed, make them earn it. If they miss a lunch or they miss a meal they might not, in that class that afternoon, learn to add, they may not learn to diagram a sentence, but they’ll learn a more important lesson.”

 

NAY to a West Virginia University journalism grad’s truly terrible first day at work.

In his initial seconds as weekend news anchor for an NBC TV station in North Dakota, A.J. Clemente muttered a double-barrel expletive into his live mic. He later apologized and the station also apologized to viewers on his behalf, but the damage was done: He’s now looking for a new new job.

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