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Teacher accused

Posted: April 11, 2009 1:08 a.m.
Updated: April 11, 2009 4:30 a.m.
In a front page article on April 1, (“Tossed paper causes incident at Canyon”) Signal Staff Writer Brian Charles has wrongly convicted teacher Michael Motherspaw by grossly misrepresenting a Canyon High classroom incident without researching or representing the facts.

Worse, The Signal has put in jeopardy the career of a dedicated educator at a time when we most need men and women like Mr. Motherspaw.

Michael was raised and educated in Santa Clarita. He chose to return to Santa Clarita from college to raise his family and teach high school where he grew up.

Higher paying jobs were available. But Michael chose to give back to his community.

Did Brian Charles even bother to research The Signal’s own files and earlier stories where Motherspaw was featured as an exemplary teacher and community volunteer? Did he talk to Mr. Motherspaw about this incident?

I’ll answer that. No, he did not.

This simple bit of effort would have given Charles an idea that there was more to the story than he was being led to believe.  Instead, he chose to sensationalize a story he overheard at the Sheriff’s Station.

Writers of “Letters to the Editor” like this often threaten to pull their subscription. We can’t even do that having moved 3,000 miles away from Santa Clarita. The stench of this story reaches us even in Rhode Island.

When the facts come out will The Signal run a retraction on the front page with apologies for their total lack of responsible journalism?  

Will the editor in chief explain to editors, managing editors and writers that sensational journalism, unsubstantiated facts, and misrepresentation have no place in The Signal?

Somehow, we doubt it. But we’ll see.


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