Monday, August 10, 2015

Murder of Woodley Erilas still unsolved; callous 'journalist' tried to exploit crime for personal cause célèbre

The murder of Woodley Erilas on January 9th in Lake Worth (900 block of North 'H' Street) remains unsolved and the family continues looking for leads. They want anyone with information about his death to call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS; the family is also offering a reward for information.

This family's loss was unfathomable but what happened later was terribly insensitive to the grieving family and friends of the deceased. A self-described 'journalist/editor' attempted to turn this senseless crime into her own personal cause célèbre for charter schools and promoting her odd theories on education of children.

Following is an excerpt from a blog post on January 22 titled, A life lost due to an uncapitalized "i"?:

I wish to offer my most sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Erilas and to also apologize for the callous and insensitive editor/journalist Margaret Menge. She seems to think that if this young man had the benefit of a charter school education, such as one requiring Latin be taught (beginning in the fourth grade) this tragic event somehow would not have happened.

For some illogical reason, Margaret Menge, in her reporting on Mr. Erilas' untimely death (Lake Worth Tribune, January 16th) felt it necessary to add the "Summary on his [Woodley Erilas'] LinkedIn page". It's only a little bit "insensitive" to look at a deceased person's LinkedIn page, isn't it?

But, here in all its glory for the world to see is what Mr. Erilas wrote on his LinkedIn page, courtesy of the Premiere Edition of the Lake Worth Tribune"My Objective is not only to learn as much as i can [. . .]". Margaret Menge reserved her anger not for Mr. Erilas' passing but instead for Mr. Erilas' use of the uncapitalized "i". At no time does Menge offer any condolences to the family or the friends of Mr. Erilas. 

Then she chooses to connect the dots in a way that revolves back to her "cause" of ubiquitous charter schools and giving those with resources a chance for a tailored education of their choosing. The 'news' story about Mr. Erilas is on page 2 of Menge's 'newspaper'. When you get to page 6, the Opinion page and Menge's Letter From the Editor, Mr. Erilas' sad passing becomes a twisted logic lesson: A + B = C

A (Mr. Erilas) + B (Charter School) = C (if Mr. Erilas went to a Charter School, he would alive today)

Menge's failed dream is to start a Charter School teaching a classic curriculum, including Latin. Her dream was denied and she angrily lashes out in her 'editorial', manipulating the somber death of a young man, an uncapitalized "i", and her hatred of the Palm Beach County School Board to write this:

By Margaret Menge, Editor & Publisher: "He [Mr. Erilas] doesn't understand what a sentence is, and when to use capitalization. So he couldn't get a job. So he was living with his [M]other on North H Street, walking around in the dead of the night, and someone shot him."

We are left to conclude that, per the logic of Ms. Menge, but for an uncapitalized "i", Mr. Erilas wouldn't have been walking the street that early morning. Really? Let's ponder what the real reason is for the death of a young man that happened on that morning and the state of a system that allows young men with promise be taken away by a single act of senselessness. I don't think that speaking Latin, or capitalizing an "i", would have altered the trajectory of these events for the victim.

Rest in peace, Woodley Erilas, and May God Be With You. Let's hope that the perpetrator is ultimately found and brought to justice.