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In Defense of Washington High

December 19, 1986

The Student Council of Washington Preparatory High School takes issue with a number of statements in the article "TV Hero One Day, Bloody the Next, Educator Pushes Crusade," written by Bob Baker (Metro, Nov. 16), since we feel that many of the statements are erroneous and misleading. The first example of misleading information is the headline. George McKenna was the subject of a CBS-TV movie entitled "The George McKenna Story" which aired the previous evening before Baker visited our campus. The headline "TV Hero One Day, Bloody the Next," may have given an unsuspecting reader the impression that McKenna was personally attacked by the students, which was not the case.

The article further states that "the students still piss in the hallways." We find this statement offensive, unprofessional and inaccurate. According to Baker, the quote came from a teacher who chose to remain anonymous, who in turn made the statement to an official of UTLA (United Teachers Los Angeles), who in turn made the statement to Baker. This raised a question in our minds: Should such third-hand information which could not be validated have been printed?

Another statement about which Student Council was concerned was Baker's comment that "Drugs raged outside the campus fences." His description is again misleading. What has this statement to do with McKenna's improvements within the school, and to what extent are drugs in our community more prevalent than in other parts of this city?

On Nov. 21 Baker visited our campus to speak to the Student Council. The purpose for his visit was to provide us with the necessary information to address both our frustration and curiosity regarding the origin of his information. From this conference, we concluded that many of his sources were outside sources that attempted to provide inside information. We have also concluded that a major portion of this article was without proof, background and support.

In conclusion, we view this article as one written with a lack of credibility, discretion, and consideration for those who actually know and love this TV hero and witness daily the results of his outstanding work at Washington Preparatory High School.


Los Angeles

The writer is the 1986-87 student body president of George Washington Preparatory High School.

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