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High school grades

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Overrated, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. Overrated

    Overrated Guest

    So, a high school girl who hadn't played in a month because of grades pitched last night and earned the victory.

    It's not my beat, so I asked why hadn't she pitched lately. She told me she failed a class. Is it kosher to write (or something similar):

    "said So-and-So, who said she hasn't played lately because of low grades."

    I don't see a problem, but I'm curious. Thanks for any help.
  2. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    It's kosher, since you got the information from the girl, but realize the parents, coaches and school administrators are going to cry foul. They're going to say you violated privacy laws by printing information about her status as a student. Thing is, you are not held to those privacy laws, the school is. If the school had told you that information, they would be in violation of the law, but you wouldn't be in violation for publishing the information. Go ahead with it, because it's an important factor to the story of the team's season, but be prepared for the phone call.
  3. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    If the player herself tells you, you're home free.

    Coaches and ADs usually aren't supposed to discuss students' grades (although of course that never stops them on the insipid "Betty Benchwarmer has a 3.98 GPA" stories).
  4. Overrated

    Overrated Guest

    Thanks a lot, you two. Cadet, your post was exactly for what I'm readying myself. I can take the heat, I just wanted some confirmation from the board. (On this only, though. :D )
  5. SportsDude

    SportsDude Active Member

    Wait until you end up with an all-conference third basemen sitting out due to pregnancy ...
  6. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Since you're saying in the story that the girl told you that and not any school official you should be fine.
  7. thegrifter

    thegrifter Member

    I know I'm late on this one, but does mentioning her failed class do anything to enhance the story? Is this JUST a gamer?
    If you're writing a feature about her, I can understand where this is relevant, but otherwise, it's just embarassing to the girl.
  8. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    If she's their top pitcher and she's unavailable because of grades, it absolutely is pertinent to the story.

    I'd say run the story, including the fact that she volunteered the information.
  9. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    i disagree. if you're going to take the time to cover preps, people will follow the stories. if one player just falls off the radar, the "fans" will want to know what in the hell happened to the player esp. if said player is a stud and has an impact on the team's wins and losses.
  10. thegrifter

    thegrifter Member

    I think that's where the difference lies. If she's their top-pitcher, it's relevant. But if she's just another pitcher, I don't think it adds anything to the story.
    But still, remember these are high school kids. She may have been cool with it now, but let's say you want to do a feature on her and this "comeback." She might not want to talk about it later because you mentioned her grades this time.
    Just a thought. Not telling anyone something they don't know, but any source, regardless of age, needs to be handled with kid gloves.
  11. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    grifter - i see where you're coming from and agree to an extent. but these people -- prep parents, coaches, fans, players -- are the ones who freak out if they aren't covered by some papers. if these people are going to cry because they received what they asked for, well, fuck 'em.

    if i ever receive a pissy call at work, i always ask the caller three questions: is what we wrote accurate? is it the truth? is it honest?

    if the answer is yes, yes, yes, i then ask: then what else do you expect from a newspaper?
  12. Overrated

    Overrated Guest

    She's 1B on a staff of two. She's a very good pitcher and pitched well last night. She hadn't pitched in a month, so that fact was included...therefore, I thought it was absolutely necessary to explain why she hadn't pitched.

    I mean, she offered to tell me why.

    And, Tom is absolutely correct. They gotta take the good with the bad. I don't care about the calls I'm going to receive. I just wanted to make sure what I'm doing isn't unethical.
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