Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020

Good morning.

Mr. Larson is going to come to talk to us today about the altercation that happened on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 here at LHS. I told him that we had been looking at the way the local press had covered the story, and I asked him if he would come and have a press conference with us so that we can find out more details. He won’t be able to give us some specifics due to student confidentiality, but he can give us the basics of what happened and what is being done now.

Before he comes, I want us to come up with some specific questions for him. We’ll brainstorm some ideas at the beginning of class. Remember to ask follow-up questions.

I will record the conference, and we’ll look back over it to make a transcript and to get quotes, but you should also take some notes.

One of our angles might be to discuss how LHS is represented in the press, especially when there is something negative. The coverage between the local newspapers and television was very different, especially the headlines. (See examples below.) One used the word “melee” to describe the incident, even though there was only one student and one staff member involved.

10/11News: Lincoln High staff member assaulted by student, both sent to hospital …

Journal Star: Lincoln High staff member, student taken to hospital after altercation

KETV: Student, staff member hospitalized after fight at Lincoln High School

KLKN: Lincoln High staff member, student hospitalized after altercation

We’ve talked about how important a headline is, because often people won’t read the whole story, so it shouldn’t be misleading or inaccurate.

Last semester, a student alerted school officials that a man nearby was having some kind of convulsive seizure, and our school resource officer responded and saved the man’s life. He had had an overdose. The headlines of some of the stories made it sound like a Lincoln High student had overdosed in the school building. We contacted them, and some of them changed the headlines. Others didn’t.


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