MTYT: School officials release info without verification - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

MTYT: School officials release info without verification

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My children are now adults.  But as a parent, I sympathize with others who worry about their children's safety.

That's why a recent story from one of our newscasts bothers me.  In a nutshell, late last year, a student brought a gun to campus in a Pender County school.  Our news team covered that story and knew it was a rare occurrence, so they wanted to get some perspective on how often something like that happens in Pender County. 

It took nearly four month, but we finally got the answer - and not because Pender County school officials were honest and forthcoming.  It's because through the Freedom of Information Act, we requested school officials' correspondence and found out they released information to us without bothering to verify it.

And here's my question: what does that do for public trust?

Journalists need to be skeptical, and this is a good reason why.  If we can't trust school officials to be open and honest with us about something as important as safety, what can we believe?

All this happened under an interim superintendent.  There's a new boss in charge now.  Here's hoping Dr. Terri Cobb realizes the importance of open and honest communication.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at yourturn@wect.com.

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