For every action in the Kanawha County school system, there seems to be an over-reaction, especially if the action hits the newspapers and TV news.
The Kanawha County Board of Education's vote to stop letting high school principals vet guest speakers at high schools - and require Superintendent Ron Duerring to approve all speakers - is a case in point.
This is unnecessary micromanagement by a school board that usually has sense enough to let principals do their jobs.
The board voted in reaction to a presentation at George Washington High School on the perils of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The group that sponsored the speaker is religious, and school board member Becky Jordon's husband was among those who arranged for the speaker.
But George Washington Principal George Aulen-bacher checked the material and found it informational, not religious in nature. Furthermore, attendance was not mandatory.
Katelynn Campbell, a student council officer, opted out of hearing the speech, but she nonetheless labeled it "slut shaming" and a controversy was born.
Yes, public school students represent a captive audience that many groups would love to have a shot at indoctrinating. But Aulenbacher did not permit that.
That a tempest cooked up by a 16-year-old politician should cause the board to adopt the presumption that principals can't be trusted is just a terrible message.
What exactly is wrong about with talking about abstinence? Having sex increases one's odds for contracting an STD. These are facts kids need to know.
Stenzel also spoke at Riverside High to no ill effect.
Principals should know the community they serve and make decisions accordingly. That is why such calls are best left with principals.
If there is a problem with a speaker, the principal will hear about it and the superintendent will hold him or her accountable.
But board members and superintendents have bigger fish to fry than to review every single speaker. The board should rescind its new policy.