Principals and superintendents and PR folks have been getting more zealous in their quest to “control the message” by making sure their employees do not talk to the press and keeping journalists out of schools. But one reporter’s distressed query to me recently took the cake: Her superintendent wanted to ban the media from entering schools when children are present.
God forbid we see students learning.
Down the road I will get into more depth about why this is horrible—and it is not just about making my colleagues’ jobs easier; that is the least of it—but for now, in order to gather cohesive and persuasive thoughts on the topic, I am collecting examples of limited access and dialogue. If you are a journalist whose district has clamped down, or an educator who has been directed to clam up, or anyone else who can help me understand the scope of the problem, please write to me confidentially at the e-mail address at right. And if access has improved where you are—well, I will eat my shoe, but be in touch as well.