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How to cover HS tranfers?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Sconnie, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. Sconnie

    Sconnie Member

    So a stud athlete transferred from one of our area HS to another, supposedly moving from his mom's house to his dad's. We didn't even run an entire article about it, but rather just a sentence in a "looking ahead to next season" story after the recent baseball season ended.

    The next day, this kid's mom called and was PISSED, saying the kid's dad didn't have custody and wouldn't until he took her to court. But we had it from four good sources, including the kid's coaches at his old school, coaches at the new school (a stud middle linebacker and wrestler), and several athletes from his old school. The only person we hadn't talked to was the kid himself and his parents. I know this was dumb, but I didn't write the story, so don't chastise me for it.

    Should these transfer stories be covered beforehand, or should we have waited until he was actually on the practice field for the new team?
  2. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    I'm not sure the father not having custody and the kid's legal residence being his dad's house are mutually exclusive, but I could be wrong.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't have run it until I talked to the kid or his parents.

    And anytime a kid is supposedly going from one parent to another you couldn't have a much bigger red flag than that.

    You know one parent is probably going to be pissed and lash out. It's not a done deal until he starts the new school.

    So, I would have waited until he enrolled or I talked to him and/or his parents.
  4. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    He did transfer, right? If so, you didn't get it wrong.
  5. Sconnie

    Sconnie Member

    Well, the only person that said he hasn't is his mom. But he hasn't actually started school there, because he wasn't transferring until after the school year
  6. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    If he's enrolled at the school, you're fine. If he hasn't .... uh-oh.

    But yeah, at least you know you should have talked to the kid. Though how that got through the editing process without someone catching that is beyond me.
  7. Saint Lou

    Saint Lou Member

    It doesn't matter how many sources you have on something like this if you haven't talked to the kid or his parents.

    You wait until you talk to the kid or he officially enrolls in the new school. Things can change pretty quickly on a deal like this.
  8. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    Unless you have an actual copy of the transfer/enrollment at the new school, you need to talk to the family. The switching-between-parents-houses transfer approach is rife with abuse and eligibility questions.
  9. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    No kidding. I was talking to a parent about a month ago and he wasn't sure if his kid would be able to go to the school he wanted. No problem, he and his wife were prepared to get legally seperated and rent an apartment in the other school district.
  10. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    The rule of thumb should be simple -- don't report it until said kid is enrolled in school, attending practices and classes and you know for a fact he is where "sources" say he is.
  11. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    Jake, that's an even better story. The lengths parents go to to further the careers (and, I guess, college scholarship prospects) of their little ones. Let's see, "For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, unless Johnny has a shot to go to Tech State and there's a kid in front of him as a senior, and then we'll split so he can transfer to Podunk Prep."
  12. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    Oh, I know. It's crazy. Nothing came of this case, but there is a new school opening soon in my neck of the woods and it will be very interesting to see which athletes are going where and if they are going where they are suppossed to.
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