This story drew a lot of attention - and some criticism - yesterday. Here are some excerpts from blog comments:
"Teachers aren’t psychologists or miracle workers ... So, gimme a break, and report the story even-handedly."
"These stories are tragic. Any death of a child is terrible. We are hearing one side of these stories. Remember everyone is consider Innocent until proven guilty."
"I viewed your report on the “Time-out” given to this autistic student with disgust. I have worked in classrooms with autistic and other learning disabilities. It is quite obvious you did not do your homework for this interview such as attend one or two classes that the students attend."
"I was more than a little disappointed with your dispassionate report on the case involving Toni Price. How could you not express outrage with this case? Sometimes, being an objective reporter should give way to being strong on child abuse, no matter where it comes from ... If you tell us a child has been murdered, at the very least, we’d like to know if WHY no one has been held accountable. If you don’t have the answers…GO GET THEM! That is a reporter’s job, with all due respect."
Guys, we want you to know that we always try to be even-handed and do our homework on the stories in our shows. Sometimes, behind-the-scenes stuff affects coverage in ways we didn't anticipate: a guest meant to provide the 'opposing' view cancels at the last minute, or Legal tells us we can't run a sensitive piece until more vetting's done. (BTW, the latter happened yesterday, minutes before we went to air.)
As for the last quote above, re: not enough outrage, I wish you'd been at our morning meeting! Kyra keeps her cool when she's sitting behind that anchor desk. But she's got very strong, personal feelings about this particular story - in fact, her mom is a retired Special Ed teacher.
We're going to keep pushing forward on this; this afternoon, we'll have an update on the teacher involved in the death of Toni Price's foster son, a live interview with a GAO director involved in that school abuse report, and a jaw-dropping piece from one of our Atlanta affiliates on an autistic boy's treatment. Tomorrow, we focus on all those teachers who are doing things the RIGHT way; you'll meet a South Carolina educator who started in the juvenile justice field, and now works with mentally disabled children.
Finally, anyone who wants to read the aforementioned GAO report, you can find it here. For info on seclusion and restraint laws in YOUR state, scroll to page 35.
Please do keep writing and telling us what you think about our coverage (of any story) - we welcome both cheers and constructive jeers!