Editorial, Issue 3 — Volume CVIV

For years, after each “Twelve Days” Morning Ex, each County Fair, each Halloween, each Thanksgiving, each Class Day, and after countless other Parker traditions, the editorial board has distributed “The Weekly.”

Students, teachers, and parents across the building can be caught reading one of the newspapers. “Weeklys” add to the excitement of the day, allowing parents to pick up a copy of their own and allowing students to have one more piece of the school to take with them before a long weekend, holiday, or break.

However, editors and writers for “The Weekly” will no longer be able to break news on these historical and traditional dates.

The administration, as of Issue 2, now only permits the editors to distribute on Wednesdays, or some other day that does not prelude a weekend or school break. For special days like County Fair and Twelve Days, “Weeklys” can be distributed, but they must be available to students days prior.

This change does not only push up deadlines for the entire staff, but for many of the anticipated and historical distributing dates, staff will now be distributing out a two day old paper: old news.

Distribution on these days is deliberate. Distributing new, fresh content on days where parents and students are present allows for a larger audience, larger impact, and an exciting environment.

The administration claims the reason for the switch is because they need time to deal with the negative reactions that “The Weekly” causes post-distribution. The administration already must read and approve every word we print in each issue of “The Weekly.”

“The Weekly” is a student newspaper, and while Parker is a private school that is subject to prior review, articles written and published are either based on facts and are entirely truthful, or are the opinions of students. “The Weekly” feels that the administration has far overstepped in its power to control the paper. “The Weekly” should be produced by the students for the students, with no oversight from the administration.

 “The Weekly” causes conversation. It allows students to reflect on the words of their peers, to learn the full story about events, or to hear the ideas and viewpoints of others about topics relating to Parker. One of the benefits of a school newspaper is the impact it has on its students — encouraging them to take action about issues they see in the school or to express their own opinions, and causing conversations about topics that may be seen as negative or taboo.  Changing the day of the week articles are distributed on will not change this.

Although “The Weekly” recognizes that there are sometimes human resources concerns that are unanticipated, these issues are rarely explained to the editorial board. Instead, the administration puts in place restrictions such as this one without allowing the board to better understand these issues.

“The Weekly” should make a ripple in the school. It should not be thought of as a mess to be maintained, and it should be respected as part of the journalism process that causes the school to make changes about what the students see as wrong.

Issue two, historically published on County Fair, was distributed two days early. When “The Weekly” explained to Head of Upper School Justin Brandon that his request to push up publication three days was impossible as it was made a week before scheduled publication, he expressed no concern.

Regardless of practicality, the administration refused to allow the editorial board to publish one last time on Friday. In this action, the board felt that the administration displayed no concern for the hard work the editors-in-chief and other members put into the paper. The administration has the legal right to make and require these requests, but that does not mean they should. When students explain to administrators that a regulation is going to have a significant negative impact on them, administrators should take the time to communicate and develop a solution with those affected.

The day on which the paper is distributed will not change its content. Whether or not students will be in school the day following distribution will not change its impact on the students. The right to distribute on Fridays (or any other day of the week) should remain with the staff.