Balancing informing the public and the safety of individuals

Editorial Board

Last week, columnist for The New York Times David Leonhardt ‘90 wrote an article called “The Conspiracy of Inaction on Sexual Abuse and Harassment” about how The Record editorial board did not cover rumors about sexual abuse, uncomfortable comments, and harassment when he was Editor-in-Chief.

Despite being “teenage crusaders” and wanting to expose injustices around campus, they did not cover what has become one of the largest issues the school has faced in spite of having heard rumors.
Though we are fortunate in the amount of freedom we have with our coverage today, we need to evaluate how we use this freedom. What students and teachers may have dismissed as rumors were actually immeasurably horrific. As a diverse editorial board, we should be aware of and actively pursuing relevant stories, no matter how challenging or out of our grasp they may seem.

However, a few days after his article was published, a member of the Editorial Board spoke to David Leonhardt about his piece. In the week marked by the controversial joke and ensuing discussions, one piece of advice Leonhardt gave stuck out to us in particular: “In a high school, in any community, you want to think about if there is any way the kind of damage we’re doing by calling attention to an individual outweighs whatever service we would be doing in terms of informing people.”

Though as an Editorial Board, we want to always pursue the most interesting, thought-provoking stories, it is also important to protect the individuals within our community. This is a balance we will continue to pursue.