Students at Pittsburgh High School in Kansas are celebrating a journalistic victory after research into their principal’s background uncovered something alarming.
PHS junior Gina Mathew says a new principal, Amy Robertson, was hired, but no information was really given about her credentials.
“There really was no information being provided on this new administrator coming in,” says Mathew, “so we felt it was our duty to make sure that the community was informed.”
They started digging, but the students on the school paper were starting to find a few holes in Ms. Robertson’s story.
“There were some things that just didn’t quite add up,” said Connor Bathazor.
Maddie Baden told The Kansas City Star that when they researched Corllins University, “We found a website that didn’t work.”
As it turns out, the university Robertson claimed to have received her M.A. and Ph.D from in 2010, had in fact closed down in 1986. She was also unable to provide evidence confirming her degree from the University of Tulsa. Roberston resigned 4 days after the information surfaced.
“She was going to be the head of our school,” says Trina Paul, Pittsburg High senior and editor of the newspaper, “and we wanted to be assured that she was qualified and had the proper credentials.”
“This experience showed us that we need to hold certain people in power accountable for telling the truth, and that even though we are students and teenagers, journalism matters,” says Trina. “We simply report the facts, and that can be very powerful.”
The students earned recognition across North America…and they also got the day off school. Talk about a win-win!