Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I spoke with Dr Hanlon, Superintendent of Painesville City Schools, at length this today, June 22, 2010, about the first issue of this school paper in which a student editorial with many untruths in it about Arizona 1040 was published ,and I feel this issue has been resolved successfully.
He candidly confessed several times that a mistake had been made, though not intentionally or maliciously and I agree.
He spoke with Principal Ramos and the 3 unpaid teacher volunteers working with the PTA on the Heritage school paper. He reviewed with them proper protocol and guidelines for future school publications like this one that fall under the category of "limited purpose public/forum." The teachers realize that the paper should be concerning itself with school issues/activities like lunches in the cafeteria, school contests, sports and the like. They should be vetted before publication by the principal and superintendent.
He had also been in contact with the Gazette as have I, and Dr Hanlon said that no issues of the paper went to any students since they got the copies after school recessed for the summer, and he said that 900 copies are still at the school and WILL NOT BE DISTRIBUTED.
The copies that went out only went to the Painesville Gazette subscribers. I told him that my letter to the editor would most likely be published this Friday in the Tribune/Gazette and he said they were drafting a letter as well admitting their mistake in allowing the letter to be published. We agreed that the letters to the editor would negate any need for the issue to be reopened in the fall issue of the paper by my writing the opposing viewpoint in rebuttal, especially since no students took that paper home.
The conversation was very cordial and I asked that if the school ever needs anyone to speak to students on opposing viewpoints to keep us in mind. I mentioned that this entire episode was a good lesson in journalism for both teachers and students.

Claudia Leonard
Grassroots Rally Team