‘Tell the truth . . . tell it often’

I just finished reading your article [“Schools enlist Sandy Hook programs and practices”] and the accompanying editorial on the sidebar [“Your right to know, imperiled”] in the May 11th Rappahannock News.

As a former public school superintendent, I used to get a lot of grief from my school board office colleagues (as well as from the sheriff from time to time) about my media philosophy.

Short, simple, and to the point, it was then and remains today: “Tell the truth, tell it first, tell it often.”

I understand and have participated in investigations, with juveniles and adults, with students, with teachers, with community members, etc. I know the challenges. I know that you can’t always tell all that you know, as there are laws that have to be observed regarding the distribution of information related to juveniles and protocols related to investigations, etc.

Regardless, there is nothing like telling the truth, telling it first, and telling it often! Even if you have to come back and update the story every day until you tell it all.

Thanks for the reporting and the reminder regarding “public information suppression”… something that seems to run rampant in may sectors of our (political) world today.

Mike Murphy

Editor’s note: the writer is the former superintendent of schools at Clarke County Public Schools in Virginia.

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