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:
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.
By Michael Burkholder