Just because you can say a thing…

…should you?
An open letter and apology from Oracle

Irony is one of the few constants in life, but that constant was felt first hand last week as the Oracle staff was preparing their essays for the annual Georgia Scholastic Press Association’s First Amendment Essay Contest. The topic this year was about the rights of people to speak their mind versus making speech that others find offensive. And that very rabbit hole opened for the staff beyond hypothetical essays with a post that appeared on our Instagram.

The nature of the post is not important except to say that it presented opinion as fact, and clearly upset a number of SGA members. It was not meant to be malicious in any way; it was removed from the site after being brought to our attention, handled with professionalism by the SGA reps and our staff, and yielded a valuable learning experience for us. The Oracle fully supports the views and opinions of everyone, but also understands the power of words and their effect on others, and we will continue our pledge of journalistic integrity in distinguishing news from opinions, reporting without bias, and encouraging people to pen formal op/eds or have open dialogue before committing ideas to the Internet.

We apologize to the members of the NSHS student government, and vow to do better with our digital footprint. Freedom of speech is something we should all cherish, but recognition that its ultimate end is to convey ideas and build bridges —without stifling thought or tearing others down —is key, and how face-to-face is usually the best practice to yield deep conversations and change.

-The Staff of Oracle

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