Thursday, October 14, 2010

Online Outrage

Tuesday morning, a distressing announcement was made by Mr. Connell. Late Monday afternoon, Julio Caceres passed away due to complications from alcohol poisoning. HCHS students were rattled and stirred. Julio was a good friend, student, and all around good person. Tears have been shed for a beautiful human being, but even those not close to Julio now have reason for alarm. In the shadow of such heartache, there's now the question of how much more can Harlan take? Action 3 News out of Omaha has now questioned the integrity of Harlan, and this has many students and parents outraged.

Instead of focusing on the memory of Julio, reporter Dave Roberts chose instead to describe the declining state of Harlan Community High School in his story. He quoted Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor Lindsay Zortman, who apparently used to work in Harlan, as saying such things as "'there is nothing for teens in that community'" and "'nearly a fifth of the Harlan High School student body admittedly use drugs and alcohol'". In the videos, he is shown knocking on the door of Marcus's house and having the door closed in his face to "No comment."

This report has sparked a facebook revolt with sixty four comments and counting. This video, neigh this entire series, has been viewed as a skewed perception of the student population and community as a whole. Such comments have been made to defend the quality of the community and the unfortunate death of Julio. Cries like "investigate more thoroughly before you make assumptions about an entire community" and "this town is having enough of a hard time grieving and mourning the loss of a good friend without stories like these" are common pleas. Steps have been taken and plans have been made to demand a formal apology to the school system.

So, tell me, NewsBlog Readers, what are your opinions of this story? Is Dave Roberts out of line in his reporting? Do you believe that Harlan is as horrible as described? No opinion is wrong, just make sure you get your facts straight, and click that little comment button. I'm Danielle Hernandez reporting for School News

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