OPINION: What we would have said at Town Hall

For a while in late February, a major Just Community discussion took place around The Boiling Point – starting with a Town Hall Feb. 18 concerning what our role is and what the meaning and consequences are of having an uncensored student newspaper. It was affirming to hear many speak about the positive role BP plays in the school.

However, Editor-in-Chief Eric Bazak was only able to speak once, and faculty advisor Mrs. Joelle Keene raised her hand to comment but was never even called on. So ironically, the Boiling Point was the voice least represented at Town Hall, meaning that we were unable to say how we see what we do, or what we try to do, here at the Boiling Point.

Here’s what we would have said:

First, the notion that the BP posts few or no positive stories is simply not true. Actually, most of our stories reflect Shalhevet in a positive light, and that is mostly because we cover the news, and most of Shalhevet’s news is actually positive.

Second is the motto of our paper. Ultimately we are guided by a pasuk in Leviticus that reads, “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of they neighbor – I am the Lord.”  Our goal is to inform the community in order to enhance it, and not to embarrass anyone unless it’s for the sake of the common good.

Moreover, while BP is only very rarely censored by the administration, we do censor ourselves. The Editorial Board censors itself all the time through our own guidelines, mentioned above, influenced by national scholastic journalism standards. Anything we publish that could be controversial receives serious and lengthy discussions and, many times, we opt not to print what is embarrassing, not important to the story, or important to a story that’s not important itself.

Ultimately, what we do try to publish is the truth. We don’t strive to put Shalhevet in a positive or negative light, but rather an accurate one. That remains the case when we cover robotics or Lahav or cheating or halachic controversies in the community. We’re reporters, and if you have an issue with what we cover, it most likely means you have an issue with what’s occurring in our school.