WBEZ Examines Student Death Statistics

Chicago journalist Stephen Franklin writes in with thoughts about a recent WBEZ report:

We know from the news that Chicago school students are dying.

But as this WBEZ report explain, we do not know that for a fact from Chicago public school officials. At least for 2013.

The officials’ explanation, according to WBEZ, is that they are observing a federal policy that protects families’ privacy.

Maybe, as the story suggests, there is more behind school officials desire to shield the numbers. Maybe officials are eager to erase the image of violence that has haunted the city and the schools and some neighborhoods.

What’s interesting here is how information that apparently was once available can be taken off the table. And if this is so for the figures from school officials is there a broader pattern here?

And if information is being withhold without a legal basis, isn’t that a violation of journalists’ rights and the community’s trust?

Here’s the link to the WBEZ story: