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Article on Boseman Draws Criticism

March 18, 1993

I am extremely disappointed by the article that appeared in (the March 11) South Bay section of the Los Angeles Times. As a 22-year resident of the Morningside community and as principal of Morningside High, I find the article written by Barry Baum to be disturbing and journalistically inappropriate.

Morningside has a positive and professional relationship with journalists in the South Bay. We seek the support of the media to enhance the educational and co-curricular programs of our school community. The (article) was written to degrade the talents of one of our star student athletes. It will not go unnoticed by us in the Darby-Dixon corridor of the city of Inglewood.

Stais Boseman has been blessed from on high with a unique gift. He is a person first, and also a gifted athlete. Regardless of our denomination or faith, we know that each of us is special. In our country, we applaud sports and athletes; we prepare for the Super Bowl and get "hyped up" on the Final Four and America's Cup. Yet, Stais has a special gift in athletics. This special talent does not mean that he doesn't strive to grow academically. The (Times') article is insulting to the standards that we at Morningside hold in highest esteem. The article written by Baum is appalling. Stais Boseman, who turned 19 (on March 11), should not have to read a (headline) that says, "The Good, the Bad and the Bose," written by some unknowing (editor) who would prefer to say, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." The (headline writer) insults our school's philosophy and degrades an exceptional athlete.

As we continue to learn through last year's unrest to accept individual differences and to develop our understanding of cultural diversity, do know that Stais Boseman has been blessed with a special talent--athletics. Who ever said that any of us could have it all? It doesn't compute! The article is filled with inaccuracies (about) the varsity (basketball) team. It is replete with interviews that never really happened. I, as principal of Morningside, never knew that Baum was on campus, when all school administrators are extremely cautious about school violence and safety. He never checked in at the front desk. Moreover, Baum's (article) gives the impression that six teachers and coaches were stating these things about Stais Boseman, when in reality, he did not talk to any of Stais' current teachers. What price a story? This is journalism at its worst.

Morningside students, fans, parents, staff and alumni will not permit these attempts to degrade our school and an outstanding athlete. After all, Stais is a high school student and has a right to be one of our youths trying to make it in today's troubled times. He, too, in all of his glory and downs, has feelings; he is a person, a young, growing human being. Please do not permit another writer to discredit the importance of the media. At Morningside, we have students who want to pursue careers in journalism. I want my student writers to know that the journalist must exist for more than the story. Our school newspaper, The Lion's Roar, is outstanding. I want my students to know that the media can be a friend. I don't want my students to consider that a writer must live for the story, turning and twisting it at all costs. I don't want the Monarchs of Morningside to fear the media and to think that it is never an ally. We have much work to do to prepare our students for the future.

I applaud my school, with all of its faults and say to others, just try and do better with more or with less. To Stais Boseman, Class of 1993, I say, you have been to the heights. Keep on keepin' on, my friend, student, athlete and exceptional human being.

LIZA DANIELS

Principal, Morningside High

Editor's note: The Times stands behind Baum's story. Contrary to Daniels' allegations, Baum did not arrive at Morningside unannounced. He set up an interview with Morningside basketball Coach Carl Franklin, who instructed Baum to meet him in a classroom, where Baum would be able to interview Boseman during a study period. Baum conducted a series of interviews with students, coaches and teachers at Morningside and reported his findings. The Times has honored Boseman on numerous occasions for his athletic achievements.

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