Comment about teens was unprofessional

Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2007

I want to thank Connie Riley for her letter (June 7) regarding the Juneau Empire's story about planning for the new high school (June 4).

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As a principal who works with teens, as a member of the community group which labored six months on this issue, and as a former journalist, I was appalled by the reporter's assertion without attribution that, "Members of the committee believe that the breakdown of the current system stems from a setting that ... is simply unable to engage today's pampered, self-indulgent teenagers."

Whom is he quoting? Where in the report is that stated?

The reporter never attended a meeting of this community group and yet alleges the members "believe" something without citing a source. As a former journalist, I know that this is unprofessional and biased.

I also know that the public will take it as gospel if it's not corrected. I can assure you that such a stereotypical characterization of teens was not part of the group's discussion.

The glib description fabricated by the reporter was ignorant and disrespectful to teens, and I suspect that if another minority group had been labeled in such broad pejorative terms, the editor may have more carefully scrutinized the article.

Laury Scandling

Juneau



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