Today’s lesson in journalism

School’s weapons incident reviewed:

Hey kids. Uncle Trench here.

A long long time ago, even before your Uncle Trench was born, newspapers use to actually report the news instead of trying to manufacture it.

For example, take this quote from the august and esteemed Atlanta Journal-Constitution about Robin Kittrell, the 17-year-old who was arrested for bringing an arsenal to school allegedly to prevent a Columbine-like situation…

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has found some discrepancies in administrators’ accounts of what occurred the day Fayette County sheriff’s deputies carted away Robin Kittrell, who remains in jail on nine weapons violations, including six felonies.

When asked about the tip the day after the arrest, for example, Whitewater principal Greg Stillions said he was notified by a central office administrator that the 17-year-old senior might have “knives and guns.”

Later, that administrator, through a spokeswoman, said the tipster mentioned two students as possibly having knives, but not guns. Both were questioned and searched on the first day of school, she said, and one was cleared.

Also, when asked why Kittrell was allowed to enter the school building when he knew the student might have a weapon, Stillions said Kittrell had no record of disciplinary offenses and noted how difficult it would have been to locate him among 1,700 other teenagers.

Do you see the ajc trying to make a story where one doesn’t exist?

Does any of that really matter? What matters to me is that they caught Robin Kittrell and no one was hurt. Some of the parents agree…

Few parents seem to be concerned about how the incident was handled. County Board of Education chairwoman Terri Smith, whose daughter attends Whitewater, said she hasn’t received a single call.

“I don’t want to armchair quarterback,” she said. “But from what I hear, they handled it correctly.”

So why is the ajc making a mountain out of this molehill?

6 Comments

  1. I guess you don’t understand that the job of a journalist is to expose and discover WHY things happen, not just to recap events. I see those as being completely legitimate – the administration of a school has a duty to get their shit together before they act on a supposed tip. The fact that they couldn’t get their stories straight brings up another issue that deserves focus: these administrators should not be in their positions of power if they can’t even communicate amongst themselves. Lets hope that story leads to some lost jobs in this school district. “Does any of this really matter?” Yes it does…at least to those of us who aren’t solely focused on incarcerating potentially threatening children. It is downright foolish to say that a story doesn’t exist there…people in powerful positions must be held accountable for their actions.

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  2. Exactly what do they need to be held accountable for? I am not trying to be smart here, I really want to know. Lost jobs? I would like to know why anyone should lose their jobs – the administrators are not responsible for this kid bringing guns to school.
    What I would really like to know is more about this kid, what makes him tick.
    These are just my thoughts, I am sure I am off on some things.
    -)

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  3. [So why is the ajc making a mountain out of this molehill?]

    Uhhh…because everybody is getting sick of reading about John Mark Karr? 🙂

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  4. Long before “Uncle Trench” was born, there was all the stuff that the media made up about Fatty Arbuckle.

    The news business is a business. They don’t exist to bring you accurate information. They exist to make money.

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  5. Sure, the school has a duty to get their act together before they respond. How long is appropriate to wait before taking action? 3 days? 3 weeks? 3 months?

    We WHS parents are not upset with the admin that the student was arrested (as he should have been), we are upset because the principal (Stillions) knew of the threat 3 months prior and failed to act sooner.

    Oh, and one more thing that seems to get glossed over repeatedly. Kittrell was AT SCHOOL with weapons daily for 3 weeks before action was taken.

    Is it a proper for a school administrator to knowingly allow an armed person to wander amoung our children for 3 weeks and do nothing about it?

    Like

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