When news broke last week that the principal and assistant principal at Lord Baltimore Elementary School had been put on administrative leave, one could safely say that people in our community were paying attention.
We posted a quick blurb on our website and Facebook pages, and were quickly inundated with comments on the situation. If we didn’t already know what the rumor mill was circulating regarding the reasons for the pair’s ouster, we found out quickly enough from what you were all saying.
And, yes, we deleted many of those comments.
Keep in mind, those deletions were not about supressing anyone’s freedom of speech. For starters, free speech in this country entitles you to speak your mind without retribution from the government. It does not protect anybody from slander or libel charges, and it does not entitle anybody the right to purposely ruin somebody’s life with malice in mind.
It is also our platform where the discussion was being held, and we made it a policy when we started this newspaper nearly 10 years ago that we would only report that which we can substantiate to our own high levels of satisfaction, and would not engage in the “yellow journalism” that is becoming more and more prevalent today.
Old fashioned? Probably. But we accept that and, in fact, embrace it.
The Indian River School District has also taken some heat in our readers’ comments, and various conversations many of us have had with many of you for not being more forthcoming with information. Trust us, we also wish that every agency would just tell us everything that’s going on, but we all have to remember that the District has liabilities and reputations to consider, especially when it comes to staff or students.
We actually applaud the District for getting out in front of this, notifying parents of students regarding the administrative change through automated phone calls and staying in easy contact with us and other outlets throughout the ordeal.
This is not an easy situation on anybody, and we vow to stay on top of it throughout the entire process.