For the Record - 05/15/2006









For the Record... Response to News Media Coverage of Gwinnett County Public Schools

In today's news media, the lines between legitimate news, editorial opinion, and "infotainment" can become blurred. Add to that tight deadlines and a rush to "get the story" and the result may be news coverage that is less accurate, balanced, and fair than it could be-- and should be.

Unfortunately, when erroneous or misleading stories appear in the news media, there are limited ways to counter the incorrect or incomplete information. In addition to asking the news media for a correction, many organizations are devising their own means for providing audiences with additional information and advising them of details not found in news media stories. That is why Gwinnett County Public Schools has set up "For the Record..." This space will be used to correct or clarify media stories about the school system, provide a context when one is lacking, point out errors in fact and editorializing, and also applaud news stories that are especially well done.

For the Record... will be updated daily and indexed by week, so you are encouraged to check the site regularly. Call the Department of Communication & Media Relations at 678-301-6020 with questions or comments.

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Corrections and Clarifications for the Week of 05/15/2006

May 15, 2006
No corrections or clarifications needed.

May 16, 2006
No corrections or clarifications needed.

May 17, 2006
No corrections or clarifications needed.

May 18, 2006
To clarify a story (Girl Suspended for Talent Show Act) that appeared on WXIA-TV Channel 11... The school made it clear that the word “lover” should be changed if the girls wanted to sing this particular song, otherwise it would be inappropriate for this middle school event. These students were told this two weeks prior to the performance. In addition, a teacher communicated via e-mail to the mother of one of the girls that the lyric change was necessary.

Prior to performing at the school’s talent show on May 5, the girls decided to sing the original lyric. When asked about their decision afterwards, the girls acknowledged that they talked about the fact that they might get in trouble as a result of it. They chose to blatantly disobey the instructions they had been given; consequently, they were punished for defying the teacher’s directions. Contrary to reports, these students did not face out-of-school suspension. They are allowed to attend the 8th grade awards ceremony; however, they are not allowed to attend an 8th grade celebration during the school day.

It should be noted that other student acts also were directed to change lyrics in order to perform certain songs and did so as directed.

May 19, 2006
No corrections or clarifications needed.

May 20, 2006
In the Gwinnett Daily Post article "Police Reports: Gwinnett school buses vandalized," Mary Conway was misidentified as superintendent.

May 21, 2006
No corrections or clarifications needed.