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Education stories should help, not hurt

DEAR EDITOR:

I am writing to express my displeasure with the front page article last week, “City schools: New plan, old debate,” authored by Raymond L. Smith.

The present story of Youngstown City Schools is being written by Justin Jennings, CEO, and not Mr. Jimma McWilson. Any reporting on the district should be framed from the inside, not from the perspectives of community members who have not effected any positive change in the district.

While I respect Mr. McWilson’s intentions, in the 14 years he’s proclaimed to be “rescuing” Youngstown City School students, he has done more damage than good for the children he’s wanting to help.

Fanning the flames of discontentment is not responsible reporting. The perspective portrayed in a July 19 story written by Marsha Huber, “Online opening for city students,” reflected a thorough investigation of what is really happening in our schools.

I just checked online with our school’s database, and 100 percent of my seventh- and eighth-grade scholars at Kirkmere Elementary are assigned Chromebooks. This means someone in their family went online and registered for a device and made plans to pick up the device from the school this past week. All 58 of my scholars were ready to log in Tuesday morning for their online schooling. This is a direct reflection of the positive direction our schools are taking, powerful leadership and families determined to do what’s best for their children’s education.

While I believe conflict and drama sells newspapers, the local media has a responsibility to assist schools in nurturing children and families so we can educate scholars and prepare them to be productive citizens.

I ask that you consider what is helping and what is hurting our families when you select articles for future publication. If you are unsure what’s appropriate, ask me. I will be honest with you.

JENNIFER KLUCHAR

Academic Distress Commission member

Youngstown City Schools

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