Editorial: Response to Weston coverage
November 9, 2009
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The Menlo-Atherton Bear News recently decided to take down an article regarding assistant track coach Kelly Weston because of an unfortunate and juvenile act that caused the staff to feel physically threatened.
Despite complaints from parents, students, and M-A staff, we stand firmly behind our coverage of the allegations made against Coach Weston. A good journalist covers relevant, timely, and interesting news in an objective manner, despite the controversy it may evoke. In no way did we stray from this responsibility. The M-A Bear News did not break this story; we only furthered the coverage of this undeniably pertinent article that was, in fact, broken by the Almanac and the Mercury News over five months ago.
The relevance of the story emphasizes the existing racial problems at M-A, a school which has been used by Stanford professors as an example of modern-day segregation. Often described as “two schools inside a school,” M-A’s student body is quite diverse, but the classes are as homogenous as the commonly criticized private school down the road. Therefore, using racial slurs at M-A is particularly damaging and further perpetuates existing racial problems. To remain silent over this issue is to pretend that nothing is wrong.
Our decision to take down the story should not be perceived as a sign that we are easily influenced. The content of our website is not chosen by our sponsors, the administration, or even our advisers. Legally, all decisions concerning articles are ultimately made by the student editorial board in accordance with Education Code 48907; our advisers have no legal authority to restrict our content. We do not revel in the opportunity to harm others, but we won’t make any progress until we stop making excuses. Ignoring this is not the polite thing to do.