I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Pensacola News Journal's Devastating Rush to Judgment...

With an article published this past Thursday that only portrayed one side of a story, and now with a one-sided, hatchet-job editorial today, the Pensacola News Journal has demonstrated the worst kind of journalism and news reporting--"rushing to judgment" on an issue about which they have very preliminary and inaccurate information.

This is disappointing.

Calling the punishment (that has not even been determined yet, by the way) "disgusting" and "unjust"--they have apparently made up their minds that the account given to them by relatives of some of the accused in this matter are the rock-solid, gospel facts.

Perhaps this reporting is an attempt to intimidate district officials into watering down any applicable punishment here by floating a narrative that minimizes the impact of this infraction?

If this is what is happening, this is truly "disgusting"--to coin a term used in today's editorial.

Throwing out statistics devoid of context to support the flawed notion that our school district targets minority students for more harsh punishments based simply upon their race is also a prominent feature of today's editorial--which equally "disgusting" and untrue.

Facts are facts and the fact of the matter is that minority students in Escambia County get many more chances (compared to white students) to reform their conduct before they receive out-of-school discipline.  This is a fact that I have demonstrated already and that a thorough analysis of the statistics shows to be true.

Ignoring this reality to perpetuate an opposite  narrative is also "disgusting."

Here is the real story, though.

The school board has yet to even be briefed on this school bus naked videotaping and dissemination

issue, as the incident investigation is underway at the school as we speak and the hearing has yet to be held.

I have not been briefed on any aspect of this case by anyone in the district as of yet.  My only knowledge of what has occurred came via contact made with me by several concerned parents who are aware of what happened--at which point I immediately reported what I was told to the appropriate authorities, to include superintendent Thomas.

Because of all of this, because what is fully known about this incident is still unclear and much of it cannot be discussed, this attack piece on the Superintendent and the district based upon inaccurate information, hearsay, and biased testimony form the perpetrators' families and special interest groups is wrong and when the whole story is known I do believe that the PNJ editorial board will have egg on their collective faces over their handling of this story.

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