Press Slams Freedom For Graduation Decision, Omits Heritage

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The Brentwood Press conveniently played favorites in this weeks paper by slamming the Freedom High School decision to move forward with its graduation ceremony last Saturday when temperatures  hit triple digits. Unfortunately, what they failed to share was Heritage High School of Brentwood made nearly identical decisions to move forward.

It’s true both schools made poor judgement calls with the water, but the Press should call it down the middle and not omit their home high school alone while slamming a neighboring community in the process.

Here is a look at what they wrote in this weeks paper regarding the graduation at Freedom High School:

BrentwoodPressFreedomvs.Liberty

There you have it, no mention of Heritage at all. In fact, I do not believe the paper event covered this major incident other than this mention. Here is my coverage from earlier in the week while the Contra Costa Times also wrote about it.

For the record, teachers at Freedom did have water and  provided them to students who asked. Did they have enough water, no, but it is also my understanding that none of the students graduating were any of the 8-patients treated.  The 8 patients came from the stands–with 7 on the home field side and 1 on the visitors side. This was likely caused by the position of the sun beating down on the metal stands.

So while the Press put on a full attack on Freedom, it was actually Heritage that had more incidents and was declared a multi-casualty event with nine ambulances and three fire engines.

Here is a breakdown from ECCFPD Chief Hugh Henderson:

  • 17 patients treated at Heritage High School
  • 8 patients treated at Freedom High School

I can see why the Press wants to “protect” its beloved Brentwood schools for advertising revenue purposes, but it should also not omit reality either which does a disservice to the community. Finally, there was no byline on this opinion either which says something as well.  Ruth Roberts? Ger Erickson?  Samie Hartley? Kyle Szymanski? Who wants to take credit for this not so clever piece?

For the record, Freedom High School officials are not the ones  re-thinking next years ceremony, its actually the Liberty Union High School District which includes five high schools which include Freedom, Heritage, Independence, La Paloma, and  Liberty High Schools.

If your going to knock one schools graduation decision, its only fair to also knock the other school in the process and stop playing favorites.

Burk Byline

By Michael Burkholder
[email protected]


17 COMMENTS

  1. The Press newspapers are clearly out of touch with the stories and our communities. That publication is circling the drain and has lost all credibility in my household.

    Anyone that reads it is wasting their time and getting recycled news that is mailed in.

    In my neighborhood it goes from the driveway to the dumpster!

  2. Shame on both schools but you raise a good point of one being ignored why the other gets all the blame. I think the Press should correct their statement

  3. As a heritage parent, I am upset the press did not include them. Its the only way they will learn from a poor decision is if people call them out on it. Thank you for providing this information.

  4. The “insert city name Press” is a former shell of itself. They catching up in a race to the bottom with the CCCounty~East County Times. We are the victims & we also are to blame for not demanding better. Their “news” is stale, biased and inaccurate and the stories are often childish. Does anyone even read any of them?

    I guess if you are interested in pet of the week or who was desperate enough to pack the paper on vacation simply to get their picture in the paper then the press is for you. What a joke!

    Both papers exemplify lazy journalism.

    We should all expect something more. Then again, as the saying goes you get what you pay for and in this case a free paper is not worth the paper it’s printed on.

  5. This is the letter to the editor of the Brentwood Press I just emailed over… I can’t wait to see the reply..
    To whom it may concern,

    I am a long time resident of Far East County. To say that I am saddened by the obvious bias demonstrated by the ‘About Town’ section this week is putting it mildly. Did The Press allow the local middle school to put the paper together?  

    The immature coverage of the heat related issues at Heritage and Freedom High Schools was immature and petty at best, an abhorrent example of worthless ‘journalism’ at worst.  No mention of the issues at Heritage when THAT was a huge story considering it took so much of our emergency responders off the grid and the sniping about Freedom?

    Please, for the respect of true journalistic integrity, either demonstrate an understanding of your major failure in regard to this story with more than a two sentence explanation three weeks from now and write a story worthy of the communities you cover acknowledging this asinine error, or please stop wasting money having the paper delivered to driveways everywhere and have it sent directly to our local animal shelters to line the kennels and birdcages collecting more of the same that is being printed.

    Thank you for your time,
    SS

  6. The Press uses the same tired sources. Unless it personally effects about a few dozen people in the area it wont be covered. And the unnamed sources used half the time are as obvious as a blind item in a bad Hollywood gossip blog to service personal agendas. Freedom isn’t the only one that made a mistake, and if I recall correctly Heritage was the one on the local news.

  7. I’ve been watching this website for about 3 weeks now and I love it. You do more for the community in one day than the press does in a week. I agree with the comment above, leaving out a school that made the local news is a mistake and then blame another school for the poor decision. Do they even have an editor over there who cares? The author is right, both made poor decisions, but play fair in the blame game.

  8. Anna C, you asked “Do they even have an editor over there who cares?” You would probably have to ask her. But be aware that she doesn’t even live in this county, let alone this area (east county).

    That should answer your question.

    Look at the format and the latest issue. It has turned into an advertiser. The Press newspapers have been short changing east county for years and its getting worse.

  9. The Press is great at bashing. This is not the first time I have heard about them publishing a one sided article. A little over a year ago they reported some awful things about a teacher in AUSD. They didn’t even speak to the teacher or any parents other than the FEW that had an extreme complaint to the school board. It was horrible the way they slandered this teachers name without even taking to anyone else.

  10. Since we’re bashing the Press, does anyone know how I can get them to quit littering my driveway each week with their trash?

    • @Medium

      Anyone wishing to discontinue delivery the process is simple. I “Stopped the Press” years ago.

      Didn’t get a paper. Going on Vacation?
      Please contact:
      Scott Perriera
      (925) 250-1405
      [email protected]

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