Just my Thoughts

When do you print a name in the newspaper?

I realized this morning that I hold a double standard. As much as I would like to be a fair and unbiased person, I realized this morning I am not.

A while back, there was a man in our area that was arrested on suspicion of several sex crimes with minors. The children allegedly involved were under 10. I was outraged by a lot of the details of this article. The part that enraged me most that I knew the person and there were issues. The man had attended the same church I do. There had been some issues with him and some young female adults that were in high school.

So today, I am reading the local paper. I admit I do not have an actual subscription. I read online daily. I am reading an article on “cases of sexual misconduct by teachers on the rise.” While the numbers locally are huge in terms of the number of cases in New York State, they are less than one percent of the national numbers.

The article started off without naming names. Unfortunately for some, the article listed four names – out of 12 cases in the BOCES district we live in. Why all 12 names were not listed is beyond me but the names included a friend of mine.

The name itself is not a shock to me. I remember when the case began. I know that the former teacher has put the incident behind and has a new job. I don’t know that this person has ever admitted the accusations are true. I do know that the person no longer has a teaching certification.

A family has rebuilt itself since this happened. A teacher had surrendered his/her teaching certification and found alternative work. No criminal charges were ever filed. Why bring up the name again now?

I am not sure if my feelings in this instance are due to a personal knowledge of the entire family involved or not. I just know that after reading the article I was all ready to write the paper and ask why the names were printed. I stopped. I realized that something was wrong with that thought process. Now, I will have to examine why I was willing to take this information out of general knowledge and not for the first situation.

Are we all biased regardless of how hard we try? Is there anyone that can act without their personal feelings affecting the decision?

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