Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Paul Rolly: Power of the press is sometimes silent


| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Apr 10 2014 09:53 pm • Last Updated Apr 10 2014 09:53 pm

Sometimes a news reporter’s best stories are the ones that are never written or aired.

They never come out because at some point during the reporting, their subjects think twice about a bad decision and reverse course.

At a glance

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

My education sources told me this week of one such case.

School districts received notice recently from Lagoon officials that there would be some changes this year to the annual Lagoon Day enjoyed by graduating junior high school students.

In the past, the amusement park offered admission waivers to students who qualified for free or reduced school lunch because of their families’ low-income status.

But this year, the districts were told, the waivers would be limited. The students who qualified for free admission would be able to go on only one ride.

Some education officials tell me they relayed that new policy to KTVX Channel 4 anchor Kim Johnson, who called Lagoon this week for a response.

She was told to call back the next day. When she did, she was informed that the policy had not changed. The kids who qualified would still get full waivers and could go on the same rides as everyone else.

Good for the school officials for telling the reporter about the now-abandoned policy change, and good for Johnson for her follow-up, which led to a happy ending.

The usual suspects? Amador Rivera is not letting an incident this week at Holladay’s Bonneville Junior High go without notice.

story continues below
story continues below

He believes his daughter and a male student were singled out because they are Hispanic when a coin went missing from their seventh-period Career and Technical Education class.

The teacher had a collection of Chinese coins she had passed around for the students to see. When the collection was returned to her desk, one coin was gone.

Rivera says the school resource officer was called and students were questioned. Rivera says the focus turned to his daughter and the other Hispanic student. They were told to go out of the classroom and into the hall, where their bags and backpacks were searched.

Neither one had the coin, which was never found.

Bonneville Principal Karl Moody said all the students were asked to empty their pockets and that the two students who went in the hall were targeted because the male classmate said the last time he saw the coin was when he passed it to Rivera’s daughter. So it seemed the coin’s disappearance came where those two students were sitting.

Moody said the two were not taken into the hall because of their ethnicity. But Rivera said a third student who was questioned with the other two was not asked to go into the hall. She is not Hispanic.

Moody said the search was conducted in good faith, and the two students did not get in any trouble. Rivera is unsatisfied. He has contacted the American Civil Liberties Union.

Forbidding evil raffles • Salt Lake City’s Uintah Elementary School, the scene of the lunch-tossing fiasco earlier this year, seems to be taking extra caution now.

Parents received notice that Uintah has called off its raffle fundraiser this spring "due to the legal issues associated with raffle baskets." For years, Uintah raffled off items during the school’s Art Fair held each spring. Those raffles raised several thousand dollars a year.

But this year, the school is asking parents for direct cash contributions rather than donations of items for raffle baskets. The nervousness may have been triggered by a letter sent to all the schools from Kristina Kindl, director of policy and legal services for the Salt Lake City School District.

She warned that gambling is against Utah law and that the district "strictly prohibits" any activity that could be construed as gambling, including raffles.

Next Page >

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.