Editorial: School silence

There’s a pattern — from here to Timbuktu — for those in power to hide problems rather than admit mistakes.

Ridgefield High School administrators ignoring multiple press inquiries about a series of larcenies in the girls locker room last week was the most recent example of bad judgment from public officials who believe that silence is the preferred policy whenever a negative light is shined on them.

The school could have used social media accounts to warn students of the first theft, which could have prevented a second incident.

Their inaction — and the absurd dedication to first come up with a consistent, singular message — has only made the situation worse.

Why not send out a statement immediately to get jump ahead? Isn’t technology supposed to improve communication?

The schools owe the public an account of what happened, why, and who might be responsible.

So while the robot-like bureaucrats are working on a statement that is destined to be unhelpful, allow us to fill in as a public relations vehicle for what needs to be said:

“There was a communications breakdown between the school resource officer and the physical education teacher. We should have kept better supervision on our students. We incorrectly hesitated to inform the student body, and their parents, about what happened.”

Openness doesn’t need to be this difficult.