PRAISE & nays

PRAISE to the Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle for honoring the late Bob Miller as its 2013 Champion for Youth. Miller, the Millers Electric CEO who worked with the Boys & Girls Club for years and served as chairman of its board of directors in 2010, died suddenly at 56 in January.

At a dinner at the Holiday Inn on Thursday night, the Martinsburg native will be honored for his good deeds – both in leading the board and also getting in the trenches to provide electrical work on projects for the non-profit.

By paying tribute to Miller’s work, leaders of the Boys & Girls Club will no doubt inspire others in our community to follow in his footsteps and lend a hand to young people in our community who need help the most.

 

NAY to George Aulenbacher, principal of George Washington High School in Charleston, for saving yes to a “just-say-no-to-sex” speaker. Amid a media firestorm over an April speech sponsored by faith-based Believe in West Virginia held at his school, Aulenbacher now has landed in Kanawha County Circuit Court where he assured a judge that he did not threaten 17-year-old Katelyn Campbell, the school’s high-achieving study body president.

Campbell – who publicly criticized motivational speaker Pam Stenzel’s speech on sexual abstinence before marriage as “slut shaming,” aimed at making female students feel bad about themselves if they’d ever engaged in any premarital fooling around – is seeking an injunction against Aulenbacher.

After she slammed Stenzel’s presentation to reporters, she says her principal threatened to call officials at Wellesley College, where she’s been accepted into the fall class, to say that she is a troublemaker.

He insists she misinterpreted his comment, which he described in court as simply a hypothetical scenario he used to make a point. He says she should have come to him, not reporters, with her concerns.

As the brouhaha continues, Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring has stepped forward to say that no school funds were used for the event. Well, that’s good news – but why give over valuable school time to Stenzel in the first place? Study after study has shown abstinence-only, faith-based diatribes aren’t effective in tamping down the sexual urges of teens or anyone else. Students can attend the church of their choice if they want this message. They shouldn’t have to sit through it during the school day.

 

PRAISE for “Pershing’s Last Patriot,” the documentary about Charles Town’s Frank Buckles, who was the last American veteran of World War I when he died three years ago at 110.

By holding screenings in Missouri and Arkansas this month, producer David DeJonge is looking for feedback – and the funding – to finish the 90-minute film.

He also hopes the exposure helps continue Buckles’ long crusade for a suitable memorial to his fellow doughboys in D.C

Gina Miller and the late Bobby Miller

Gina Miller and the late Bobby Miller

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