I attended Madrona Grade School and have lived in the Madison Park, Leschi [and] Madrona area for most of my life, and I still do. In my opinion, the story ("Middle-Schooler Uses 'Shank' on Another Student," November 2009) belonged on the first page. Implicitly, placement on an interior page diminishes the seriousness of the message.
Parents, teachers, administrators and students should be shocked and need to know that the entire community is aware of what happened. A sense of community shock, outrage and concern is a powerful motivator to stimulate parental and peer pressure, and a civic response to discourage similar misconduct.
As to the criticism of the use of the term "shank," it was entirely appropriate to call it exactly what it was. Wrongful acts diminish the perpetrator, not the victims (Madrona K-8 and its students, their parents and the school staff). Burying, covering up or downplaying serious misconduct simply nourishes it and allows it to continue and to grow. Truth and light are very strong weapons against wrongdoing.
Apparently, some readers felt very uncomfortable about front-page publication of a negative event that involved Madrona K-8. They care about the school and its reputation, and appropriately so. But the best way to maintain that reputation is to eliminate conduct that diminishes it. Your story promoted that end.
Madison Park Times owed no one an apology.
- Don Paul Badgley, Madison Park[[In-content Ad]]