Color Coded Map for Criminals, Courtesy of …

MH900422950Perhaps it was just a coincidence. This morning the search warrants related to the Adam Lanza case were released to the media. Mere hours before that, a story was quietly filed at the Des Moines Register. It was a map of Iowa scattered with colored dots. Each dot represented a school district. And the colors represented its security. Green for security, red for no security. And gray for school districts that didn’t respond to the paper’s asinine request.

Maybe instead of a red dot the editors could have used a target?

Mike Opelka of The Blaze broke the story. He had the opportunity to get a comment from Des Moines Register editor Rick Green last night.

All of us in the media have to be incredibly thoughtful and even more vigilant about balancing the need to report with how folks can perceive our work in the light of what happened at Sandy Hook. I’ll tell you, nothing is more important to me than protecting the students, school teachers and administrators and safeguarding a community against any kind of violence.  We got a couple of phone calls from readers who were concerned about a map, took it down immediately, re-adjusted it. I’m not going to make the same mistake that has unfortunately plagued some other newsrooms about sensitivity. I try to be fair and responsible and not do anything reckless. I love my job too much, I love the role that we play here in Iowa, and I care too much about the safety of school teachers and students to do anything so that people would think we were being reckless and heartless. I just don’t operate that way.

You don’t operate that way? And yet you thought it was smart to post such a reckless, thoughtless, and dangerous piece. You essentially gave a roadmap of potentially unsafe schools to any criminal interested. As we all know, schools are “gun free zones.” It was great of you to let people know that not only will these children and staff members remain defenseless; there is NO ONE there to shoot back.

Way to go, Mr. Green. That’s Pulitzer worthy stuff.

It doesn’t matter what you do. It doesn’t matter how many apologies you give. It doesn’t matter who you fire. Hell, it doesn’t even matter if you resign. If ONE school comes to harm, it’ll be on your heads. You will have to explain to the entire state why you felt posting something so incredibly stupid was in the best interests of the communities you served.

Shame on all of you for your willful ignorance.

Within hours of The Blaze picking up the story, the map was pulled and “revised” before being reposted. As of this writing, no map appears to exist, just a story regarding school security in Iowa.

Let’s hope the staff at the Des Moines Register is “revised” just as quickly.

Links:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/27/bad-move-newspaper-publishes-interactive-map-identifying-all-public-schools-with-no-security-officers/

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/comments/article/20130327/NEWS/130327020/54-Iowa-school-districts-resource-officers

About the author: Pauline Wolak

Pauline is a proud wife and mother of three. When she isn't being the world's greatest Girl Friday, she is volunteers her time as a school librarian and athletic director. Pauline enjoys football, politics, good beer, and arguing with anyone. She's a devout pro-life Catholic. Pauline believes in the 1st Amendment and uses it on a daily basis, most notably to ambush unsuspecting family members in political debate! You can find her work here at Clash and at redknucklepolitics.com. Follow her on twitter at @MiStateFan.

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