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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

UT signee named in Powell sex probe

Now there’s a headline that will probably sell a few thousand papers.

So now, allegations (and let’s keep in mind, they are only allegations) have ruined reputations and stained careers. In the real world, image and public relations, unfortunately, matter as much as reality. Anyone who doubts this can look at how propaganda is used during wartime to see the effect.

The most disturbing part of the mess is what I am going to focus my comments on. The following is a snippet from the KNS article:

Whatever the outcome of the investigation, Kallenberg will not return to Powell High School, Oaks said.

"The superintendent has determined that given the nature of the allegations and the nature of the atmosphere in the building, that it would be in the interest of everyone for Kim Kallenberg not to return to the building," Oaks said.

Just so you understand what’s going on, we live in a society where someone can allege something about someone else and effectively ruin them. Ms. Kallenberg will now be removed from a school where she has worked for nearly a decade. Mr. Smith, regardless of his success on the football field or in the classroom, will now be dubbed the “kid who got it on with the teacher”. Well, that’s just great, ain’t it? That sure makes me want to go into the teaching profession.

Listen, maybe these allegations are true. But they are only allegations. Allegations happened all the time when I was in high school. Any hot-looking teacher we had (and there were very few, sadly) was supposedly having sex with the quarterback or the point guard. The difference between 1986 and 2006 is that we never sought out a lawyer to publicly accuse an instructor of such impropriety.

If the accusations against those in question are true, shame on them. If they aren’t, shame on the accusers. And shame on a system that stigmatizes someone before their guilt is proven. And, not to be left out, shame on a sensational media whose sole goal in life is not to report news, but to sell newspapers or advertising. What a sad situation, with no winners, except the News-Sentinel and their circulation department perhaps.


.: posted by Dave 10:38 AM

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