A reporter shows up to a meeting of parents and officials from a for-profit company that may be contracted to take over their kids’ K-8 school. The school department has promised “transparency,” but the department’s spokesman bars the reporter from attending. What would you do?
Here’s what Melissa Bailey of the New Haven Independent did: She pulled out her pocket video camera and trained it on the spokesman, Chris Hoffman, for more than three minutes as he tried to explain the meaning of “transparency.” To Hoffman’s credit, he didn’t turn and run. The result, above, is highly entertaining. Here is Bailey’s story.
Bailey, in an email exchange with Media Nation, confirms that the meeting did not fall under the purview of the state’s open-meeting law, and so she did not have a legal right to be there. By barring Bailey, though, school officials managed to keep the public in the dark about an initiative that promises to be both consequential and controversial.
Oh, and be sure to check out the comments. Will Clark, who accuses Bailey of writing a “sensationalized story,” is the school department’s chief operating officer.