Noelle Leavitt Riley: Let's move forward in a positive manner

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Two weeks ago, the Craig Daily Press ran an editorial composed by newspaper staff, asking Moffat County School District Superintendent Brent Curtice to reveal the punishment of the upperclassmen involved in the alleged hazing incident that happened in June in Evanston, Wyoming.

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Noelle Leavitt Riley

Curtice responded by saying it’s a private matter and that he must protect the rights of the students.

We respect his decision. To be clear, we said he did not have a legal obligation to release the information but, instead, a moral obligation in order to help the community heal.

According to the Colorado Open Records Act, Curtice and the school district are not required to release such information because of the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and the newspaper has no legal rights to that information.

Please keep in mind, we were asking for the punishment, not the names of the students. Yet under FERPA, it doesn’t matter. The district still is required by law to protect such information.

Therefore, we must move on and hope that the district properly handled the hazing incident and investigation.

To help the community heal, the Daily Press will discuss the state of the school district at its monthly Coffee and a Newspaper forum at 7 a.m. Wednesday at The Memorial Hospital.

We have no intention of holding a negatively driven forum. Daily Press General Manager Renee Campbell and I fully intend to have a productive and positive meeting with the community.

We’d like to discuss all the new changes in the school district and what’s in store for the upcoming school year. We’d like to focus on moving forward. We can’t guarantee that the hazing situation won’t come up in the discussion, but we would like to discuss the positive, not the negative.

So we invite you to attend. We kindly ask that if you join us that you keep the best intentions in mind at the event. Renee and I love our community and value its members. Let’s come together with an optimistic view of the coming school year.

Feel free to contact either of us if you have any concerns. You can reach me at 970-875-1790 or nriley@CraigDailyPress.com. Reach Renee at 970-875-1788 or rcampbell@CraigDailyPress.com.

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