Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Positive Move, But At What Cost?

Reports surfaced today that a judgement has been rendered about the controversial yearbook portraits.

As you may know, yearbook staffers, the Timberland High School journalism teacher Cathy McCandless, Timberland High School Principal Winston Rogers, and Assistant Superintendant Melody Marcantonio met yesterday to discuss "inappropriate" student portraits and activity pictures in the upcoming Timberland yearbook.

The description of the meeting I've been given can be summed up into one word... "tense". The impression I've gotten was that Principal Winston Rogers was unprepared to defend his judgements on the yearbook portaits, while Melody Marcantonio acted mostly as the meeting administrator.

I've been told that frustration levels were so high, that Ms. McCandless left the room in order to depressurize, and to reduce the tension. Since one principle of this blog is to not seek information from her directly, I'm not sure of the exact exchange that led to her temporary exit from the meeting.

So, today, the decision was passed down from Ms. Marcantonio that ALL the portrait pictures will be allowed. Also, the questionable swimsuit picture will be allowed, as long as written approval is gained from the student and her parents.

This is a very positive decision, and is possibly an indication that Team McCandless has started to get a message through to the Wentzville Administration. However, this decision is not without its issues...

Due to the excessive delay caused by this fiasco, there are implications in the final production of the yearbook, it's delivery schedule, and possibly to the final cost. It is unclear at this point, but the yearbook price could increase dramatically, and those that have pre-ordered their yearbooks may have to pay a "surcharge" when they get them.

And of course, the greatest cost is to the kids, to the journalism program and to its teacher Ms. McCandless. This abuse has taken its toll. The journalism staffs are emotionally tattered - their work being inconsistantly questioned, criticized and censored. Ms McCandless has already resigned, consigning the children to a lesser journalism program (assuming anyone in their right mind would take such a job with the history of the current Wentzville administration).

No comments:

Post a Comment