Archive for Thursday, February 17, 2005

A snowball’s PR chance

February 17, 2005

Once again, we're left to scratch our heads with actions in the Baldwin School District this past week. Although seemingly unrelated, they actually fall together.

The first furor was over an opening for a public relations position being advertised in the district. Cries came far and wide about adding a PR position amid tight budgets and cuts. Oddly enough, the loudest complaints were from district personnel and a school board member or two.

But, come to find out, the position really only replaces a secretary's position in the district office with added responsibilities. It wasn't an addition. Furor wanes and points instead to the obvious need for communication within the district, perhaps something a PR person might be able to accomplish.

The second furor involves snowballs. Yes, snowballs. In three separate "incidents" of snowball throwing at Baldwin High School in the past three weeks, numerous students have been suspended. Yes, suspended.

At first glance, we, much like numerous complainers, couldn't believe the severity of punishment for throwing snowballs. It seems a bit harsh.

But, again after doing some poking around, we discovered a reason, or at least we think so. Apparently, a past snowball fight had escalated into a real fight -- ones with fists, not snowballs. With that in mind, we agreed that the situation should have been handled with such force, most notably after November's shotgun incident in the high school parking lot.

The remarkable thing here, though, is administrators would not comment on this, would not confirm or deny, that this was the case. Why? Who knows? The public would be served well by this disclosure. It shows that, indeed, something is being done to corral unruly behavior at BHS.

Maybe a district PR person could have clued administrators in on how to handle such matters that belong in the public light.

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