On My Soapbox: Communication is key

This column represents the thoughts and opinions of Jason Hennington. This is NOT the opinion of the Taylor Press.

Earlier this week, the Taylor Press broke a story about an improper relationship between a teacher and a student. I was first notified on social media.

I went through the proper channels as a journalist to get the information and relay it to the community. However, hearing about it on social media was not a good look for the school district.

Communication is key in a successful relationship with the community.

I agree that social media is not the place to take problems to be fixed, but in this case, it was the right tactic.

Because of that post, I received a press release and school board members were notified. It was also put on our radar to make sure we follow the story (see page 1).

This type of thing does not happen often with the school district, but when it does, there is good communication with us, the media, and the school district.

However, in this situation, I can’t say the same. I understand it dealt with personnel and became a criminal matter, but hearing it from parents online makes the district look like it was hiding something.

I don’t think the district was hiding anything, but this did slip through the cracks.

Parents were absolutely outraged about the incident and asked why they had not been notified. They also asked how long ago the incident happened and at which school.

These are questions that is expected from parents. Most of the parents knew more about the situation than I did because they heard it from their children at home.

Again, communication is key. If there is communication between the school and the parents with situations like this, things would go a lot smoother.

I’m not bashing the school for not handling the situation in a proper manner. However, I do think they could have gotten ahead of the curve on this situation to avoid more outcry and complaints from the community.

We hope to maintain our strong line of communication with the school district. Like I have always said, the Taylor Press is going to be here for the good and the bad.

Before I step down off my soapbox, I want to say the comment about this particular story being a racial issue is just plain ludicrous. To imply that we only take breaking stories about minorities to social media is nonsense. Newsprint is a weird shade of gray, not just black or white.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now and go do some leg exercises. I have a goal to meet and will get there. Hopefully, we will have a president by the time you read this. Then again, probably not.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

- George Bernard Shaw

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