The IJ article Sept. 22 on the Ross Valley School District’s residence verification methods was an example of the news media spreading misinformation rather than reporting facts, as well as ignoring facts relevant to a story.
Although your story was about concerns regarding the wisdom of employing residency verification practices that could have unintended consequences for marginalized families in our community, two anti-Ross Valley Charter parents’ opinions were solicited and their misinformation repeated. No charter school comment was solicited on either.
One parent falsely asserted that RVSD “allocated the correct number of classrooms for in-district kids.” The facts are that a Sonoma County judge has ruled the district did not provide adequate space and ordered RVSD to provide the charter more space.
The other anti-charter parent asserted that Ross Valley Charter had not provided RVSD “residency information for at least 17 of its students” last year. The facts are that RVC provided residency documentation to the district on all its students in October 2017, and I emailed answers to district questions on 17 specific students within 10 days of belatedly receiving their names in early July and again in early September, copying the IJ.
In my emailed response to these questions, I had noted that an overwhelming percentage of the challenged students are economically disadvantaged. This fact was not included in the story despite being central to the story: citizen concerns that the district’s new residency verification processes create “discriminatory outcomes.”
— Conn Hickey, San Anselmo;
treasurer, Ross Valley Charter