February 6, 2016

Newspaper classless to run Starling story

James Repshire
I’ve considered Shirley Strack a very close friend for more than 15 years.  I attend the church she attends.  Shirley was the high school attendance secretary when my boys were going through high school.  I can say without hesitation, Shirley is one of the classiest individuals I have known in my life.  She has a huge heart for kids and for community.
The Strack family has been a stellar pillar in this community since long before I lived in this community.  They are good, community minded and oriented people.  Bubba Starling is a very fine young man that anyone would be proud to call “son.”  As he went through his high school years at Gardner Edgerton High School and rose to “stardom” level, he continued the tradition of “class” that his family has instilled in him.  He represented his school, himself, and this community with humility and grace.
I understand that newspapers, television news programs, the media in general are about “getting the scoop.”  I understand the prevailing philosophy that exists in journalism reporting in regard to reporting “breaking stories” about celebrities.  I realize the concept of reporting stories that will “get sales.”
In my opinion, the Gardner News would have been more likely to increase it’s sales in this area if they had chosen to do the “classy” thing, which would have been to not run the story about Bubba being cited for underage drinking.


  1. Hypocritical says:

    As a school board member, you endorse underage drinking? Tell that to the kids you’ve kicked out of school for doing the same thing. Bubba Starling is one in a million. A great kid who made a mistake a lot of kids make. It is no bad reflection on him or his family. But he is no different than any other underage drinker who gets in trouble. I’m surprised the school district is okay with this. Maybe you should work to change the law and make drinking 3.2 beer legal from 18 to 21.

  2. James,
    Seriously, just because he is a stellar person from stellar family does not excuse his actions and decision making. I’m sure Bubba is a great person, but he is to be held responsible for his actions like any other person. To say that the newspaper is trying to get a big ‘scoop”, and they would have been more classy to not report this story- I say this- if Bubba hadn’t been drinking there would be no story to get a scoop on. Good kids also make bad decisions. But when an adult wants to cover this up, shame on you. What example do you teach? I think it was you James who expressed that you go to church, what do you think the church would say? Cover this up. I don’t think so…

  3. Judith Rogers says:

    One thing I want to know and that is what church does Repshire attend???? I would also state I believe Repshire’s article is the one “classless” and you have to wonder if he realizes the importance of the free press or does he prefer how dictators never want a free press. I just know I got a looney toony e-mail from Repshire on Aug. 6, 2011 where he states in part: ” If you have questions or differences you would like to express, I would appreciate that you address them in just such a nature; between you and me.” Hope Repshire realizes I am one who believes in operating in the open and not behind the closed doors nor do I want to withhold information the people need to have in order to make informed, educated decisions and I also respect honesty, integrity, ethics, character but I certainly do not respect “classless” secrecy and not being forthcoming with all citizens.

  4. Character says:

    And the school is teaching character? Perhaps Mr. Repshire should should take a class about acknowledging mistakes rather than sweeping them under the rug. No wonder our kids don’t know right from wrong. Go Bubba! You rock.

  5. Zero Tolerance says:

    I guess the Gardner school believes in zero tolerance unless you have some connection with a school board member. What else does Mr. Reprshire advocate sweeping under the rug? I’ll remember his attitude next time my kid gets in trouble. Zero tolerance for those who don’t have money, that’s what it is. Bubba doesn’t need you to defend him. He’s strong enough to move on and does his family proud. Get a job Mr. Repshire. Do something productive.

  6. Open mouth, insert foot says:

    Hey Mr. Repshire, the school district that you sit on the board of offers a wonderful Character Trait curriculum every month. Perhaps you could contact one of the school counselors and find out which months they are going to teach about honesty and responsibility. Yes, Bubba did something that most college students do all the time. And yes, he is probably a fine human being who will learn a valuable lesson. But no, it shouldn’t be kept out of the media because it might make someone he’s related to in town feel bad. By the way, were you aware that Fox 4 News is among the many K.C. media outlets that also covered this story? You know, the same Fox 4 that also did a story on Sunflower Elementary winning the blue ribbon award. Did you call them and complain to them about covering the story or is your personal grudge just with the Gardner News? How embarrassing for the school district that you would write this letter and advocate not holding an individual accountable for their choices.

  7. practice what you preach says:


    Check out September thru November character traits.

  8. What is classless? says:

    1. Doing dog and pony shows on PTO time to get the school bond passed
    2. Requiring a semester of Aerobics because the coach’s wife needs a job
    3. Buying the administrators iPads while eliminating para positions
    4. Giving administrators raises while everyone else does without
    5. Putting all of the pods in one elementary school, so disgruntled parents vote for the bond issue

    Please feel free to add to the list

  9. Bewildered says:

    It frightens me that people like James Repshire are serving on the school board. His comments seem to condone underage drinking. It makes me wonder what else he and the school board cover up. It is sadly ironic that the school district puts so much emphasis on character education, and yet an elected school board member doesn’t even understand character and responsibility. He wants to sweep all bad news under the rug. I wonder what else is “under the rug”.

  10. I’ve said it before, we set a poor example for our youth. With adults bickering and gossiping like school kids, and elected officials who cover things up and lie to get what they want, it’s no wonder. All the do-good Carrie Nations of this state caused the problem. Why can a 19 year old boy sign a million dollar contract but not have a drink? Or go to war and fight, but go to jail for having a drink? We have idiots running this country – both local and federal. As to the school bond, I vote no. I don’t believe a word they say. It’s not for the kids or the teachers, it’s for the greed and ego of the school board.

  11. James Repshire spent the majority of his letter sucking up to the Strack family and bragging about how close he is to them without even explaining their relationship to Bubba. Maybe that is James way of making himself feel important. Then his last paragraphs show a disdain for the media in general. The media has a job to report news – good and bad. I think the gardner news, and other media, have been more than accomodating in reporting the good news about Bubba over the past few years. Now that he is a public figure, they have an obligation to report the good and bad. Even though this latest incident was a small infraction. No one should be too upset about it. Bubba will still be Gardners superstar. No one thinks any less of him because of this small mistake that so many teenagers make. But it is news all the same.

Comments do not necessarily reflect those of The Gardner News, or staff. By posting, commentators assume all liability. Please contact webmaster to report comments that infringe on copyrights, or are of a profane or libelous nature. Webmaster reserves the right to edit or remove content deemed offensive.


Speak Your Mind