Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, Kansas recently hired a new principal. Dr. Amy Robertson was all set to take the reins of the school, but the students who run the school’s newspaper thought that it would be a good idea to find out exactly who their new principal was. When they did a little digging into Robertson’s background they didn’t like what they found.
Senior Trina Paul, editor of Booster Redux, the school newspaper, told The Kansas City Star,
She was going to be the head of our school, and we wanted be assured that she was qualified and had the proper credentials. We stumbled on some things that most might not consider legitimate credentials.
What the students found was that the institution Robertson said she earned both her master’s and doctorate degrees, Corllins University, does not appear to be an accredited institution. In fact, when student journalists contacted the federal Department of Education, they were told that the department could find no evidence that Corllins was ever accredited. The Corllins University website has an “.org” rather than an “.edu” extension, as most educational institutions have, and none of the links on the page, that describe things like admissions and on-campus life, work.
After what the student journalists uncovered, Robertson resigned the $93,000 a year position that she had been hired for only a month ago at a school board meeting on Tuesday evening.
The high school’s journalism advisor, Emily Smith, said she is very proud of the work her students did.
They were not out to get anyone to resign or to get anyone fired. They worked very hard to uncover the truth.
“They worked very hard to uncover the truth.” Please take note of that, all of you “grown-ups” who call yourselves journalists. Your job is to find the truth. It’s not to carry water for the current administration’s line (Fox News, I’m talking to you), nor is it to take quotes from the people you are supposed to be holding to account and publish them without critique, clarification, or comment. It’s not to ask softball questions of powerful people because you’re afraid of losing access to those people. Your job is to find the truth. These high school students understand that. Why don’t all of the grown-ups who like to call themselves “journalists?”