To the editor:
The Lawrence Journal-World is in dire need of an editor. An 18-year-old student in the community has died. Your paper used a color picture, four columns wide, to bring attention to this loss and to the young man who is now gone. His senior picture was also on the front page. The article could have been a positive tribute to him. It's great to be fun-loving and adventuresome, but the three columns on the front page were disrespectful and unjust. I am not faulting his grieving classmates; poor editing is the problem.
Why didn't this article talk about the constructive things that Jud made a conscious effort to do for others? In his obituary it mentioned that he was a volunteer at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Why weren't any of his friends at the hospital asked to make comments about him? He also volunteered for the Sunflower State Games in Lawrence; surely someone associated with these games could tell us something more about him. He did other volunteer work for the hospital's triathlon, he was employed in part-time jobs, he was a three-year member of the debate team, and he found time to study enough to be on the "A" honor roll. Some students of his capabilities are vain and so concerned about their "standing" in the world that they find it necessary to ridicule and insult others. Students tell me that Jud was a nice guy, and that he would never pick on any one.
The article is continued on the third page. A little over three lines, near the end of the 139-line article, state that Jud "was a debater and an honor student, planning to attend Kansas University on an academic scholarship." One does not obtain academic scholarships to Kansas University, nor to any other college, merely by being a "party boy."
The accident was not a thrilling story. It was tragic for a real person.
Your staff at the Baldwin City Signal did a good job portraying students' feelings about Jud Strong. Too bad our youth in this community had to first see what the Lawrence Journal-World deemed newsworthy about him.