2017-01-11 / Opinion

Thinks It’s A Great Idea


I would like to offer my opinion on the letter submitted by Dr. Bonnie Ratnoff Seegmiller regarding the Gentlemen’s Club at Townsend Elementary. I was disappointed to read that she felt, “the course, as presented, is totally misdirected.” As a parent, I was surprised to see such a negative reaction to a program that is trying to instill manners and professionalism in young boys.

Upon reading the article which introduced the Club in the Dec. 28, 2016 issue, my first thought was, “Wow! This is great! Finally there is an opportunity for boys to learn how to dress and act appropriately again!” I don’t agree that it is misdirected. I am very discouraged when I see how many of today’s youths, the future generation, present themselves. Respect, manners, sportsmanship, proper handshakes, proper dressing, are all life skills that are sadly lacking in many young people today. I am under 40 so I have lots of exposure to this generation! I am tired of seeing young men with their pants around their knees and their underwear hanging out! Most boys that are introduced to someone today don’t shake hands. At restaurants, napkins remain on the tables instead of in laps and hats remain on heads. There are almost no older gentlemen wearing hats at the tables. I was brought up that eating with your hat on was just plain bad manners. Handshakes when greeting or meeting someone were always given. Dress shirts and ties were worn more frequently. For many kids today, dressing nice means a clean T-shirt and no holes in your jeans. I fail to understand how teaching these skills is not a positive thing.

If families don’t teach their boys how to tie a tie, give a proper handshake, speak politely and respectfully to others, including on the phone, how are these kids going to present themselves at a college or job interview? First impressions go a long way. I am very thankful that my husband has taught these important skills to our teenage son. I am so proud of him when he looks an adult in the eye and offers his hand in greeting.

Thank you Mr. Clerkin, Mr. Penberthy and Townsend Elementary for seeing the need and offering this club. I think it is a wonderful idea!


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