Smile Politely

This editorial from The Echo torches The News-Gazette

Urbana High School journalist Michael Tessene calls out The News-Gazette editorial board for its take on the on the fight at the school earlier this month, as well as their continued perpetuation of racism, and he has RECEIPTS. 

The article’s central claim—if it can be called that, given its unfocused meandering—is that Urbana High School’s shift towards restorative justice in discipline caused the violence on February 4th. This is absurd for a variety of reasons.

First, any and all condemnation of restorative justice is slightly undercut by the fact that we live in a country that manages to have a remarkably punitive prison system while still maintaining over a 70% 5-year recidivism rate and having one of the highest crime rates in the developed world. Of course, this is never addressed in the article.

Also, the cause of the fights is known, and they do not originate with any school policy. The recent violence is linked to the shooting of a 14-year-old Urbana student over the summer of 2018. Surely a reputable news organization would have paid attention when this was mentioned several times by several different community members at the February 5th school board meeting. The fact that the Gazette ignores this signals either a lack of journalistic integrity or sheer carelessness. 

You can read the rest of this masterful response here.

Staff writer

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