Journalism Education

Principal with fake credentials undone by real high school journalism

These Kansas high school journalism students brought down their new principal with some solid reporting.

A new principal at a high school in Kansas had made it through the vetting of school administrators without them uncovering the dubious nature of her resume, which included a degree from a notorious “diploma mill,” Corllins University. She was hired by Pittsburg High School and began work in March.

But not so fast. When a group of student journalists at the school began looking into their new principal’s background, they discovered the questionable nature of her education and work history. The spend days reporting their story, even conducting a rugged interview session with the new principal via Skype. ┬áThen they published their story.

Days later, the new principal, Amy Robertson, resigned. On her way out, she resorted to a common tactic of wrongdoers today when their misdeeds are uncovered by investigating journalists. She said the students’ story was “not based on facts.” Really? So why not fight, instead of resigning?

My favorite part of the Washington Post story recounting the heroics of these high school scribes is that the students continued to work on the story over their spring break. They knew they were on to something special, and they wanted to get it right.