The lack of common knowledge among our society is frightening. Everyone doesn’t need to be a genius. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m far from any level of measurable genius. But some general knowledge, especially about where you live, should be expected. For example – you should know what school system your child attends. I’m not talking about the actual school, because if you don’t know that then that’s a whole different discussion, but rather what system. There are two systems in our coverage area – Coffee County Schools and Manchester City Schools. Personally, I think parents should know who the director of schools is and, dare I say, who their representing school board member is. I may be asking too much. But I am demanding, or at least that’s what the kids tell me.
Why bring this up, you ask? Because this happens like clockwork at every school closing or schedule change we announce on Facebook and our website (we are a 24-7 news outlet these days). Let me show you a glimpse into the life of a reporter trying to inform the public on Facebook: Manchester Times: “Coffee County School System will be on a two hour delay tomorrow morning due to inclement weather.” Facebook user 1: “What about Manchester City Schools?” Manchester Times: “We have not received information from the city schools, so therefore it’s safe to assume their schedule remains unchanged.” Facebook user 1: “Well when will you know? “ Times staffer shakes head, yells at computer screen. Facebook user 2: “Does this include Hillsboro?” Manchester Times: “Yes, you are aware Hillsboro Elementary is in the county system, right?” Facebook user 3: “There is more than one school system? I’m not sure which one my child is in. Please help.” Manchester Times: “What school do they go to?” Facebook user 3: “Raider Academy.” Manchester Times: “OK, that is a county school.” Facebook user 3: “But it’s inside the city limits?” Manchester Times: “Are you arguing?” Facebook user 4: “Wait, so schools inside the city limits are open? So the high school and Raider Academy are open, but other county schools are delayed? That’s stupid. Who decided that?” Manchester Times: “Nope. All schools in the county school system are delayed.” Facebook user 4: “Well why didn’t you say that? You are fake news.” Times staffer opens alcoholic beverage, quits for the night. –Josh Peterson is the publisher of the Manchester Times. He is a Tennessee Press Association award-winning writer and photographer. His column, “From the publisher’s desk” won TPA first-place honors for best personal humor column and best personal column. The National Newspaper Association named him “Top 30 Under 30” of newspaper professionals in 2016. He can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29