Tuesday, September 25, 2012

News Station or Rumor Patrol?

Teenagers can be so mean, cruel, and gossipy. Adults scold them for this behavior, but then they call it newsworthy. A local news station has been running a "story" about a teen that may or may not wear a mask in the hallways, dresses strangely, and acts abnormal. Have none of these people ever entered a middle school?! Well, I have! I teach in one, and these things are not abnormal, nor are they newsworthy.
This teen possibly has a "hit-list" and (once again) may or may not making stabbing motions when walking through the halls. Even the students that the news station interviewed said, "I heard that he....." and "....but it may be just rumors." It even says these words in the story that is posted on the website. Even the school is not admitting to any wrong doing by the student, in fact they said that they "asked the student to stay home from school today." If there is any evidence of a real threat, schools don't ask the student to stay home! They  would have suspended or expelled the student immediately.
As a parent and a teacher, I believe that we should all be made aware of real threats, but to put hearsay and speculation on the news for all to hear is not right. All I know about this story is what the news station is reporting, but I for one don't think that they have enough to report on to ruin this student's reputation. If they are wrong or are blowing this out of proportion, think of the life this poor kid has in front of him. Not only are his peers going to harass him (probably more than before), but now parents, and KATU viewers as well.
There has been a huge focus on anti-bullying campaigns both in schools and out, but this sure seems like people jumping to conclusions about a boy because he is different. Maybe I'm wrong, but that seems a lot like bullying. As I said, I don't know the specifics of this situation, and maybe this boy is a threat. But I just think that there should be a line between facts and guesses, and that what airs on the news should only fall under the first category.
If you would like to read what little information KATU has on this story, here is the link:

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