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The Southerner

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The “comment section” is truly the bane of the Internet. From YouTube to The Atlantic to 11 Alive, there’s no quicker way to lose faith in your fellow man than to scroll to the bottom of any article and read the posted comments. Racism and homophobia are rampant, and “trolls” run wild throughout the World Wide Web. Comments about The Southerner, however, have more often than not consisted of mainly positive feedback or constructive criticism; that is, until Oct. 17.

In response to an article written by a managing editor and news editor on allegations against former APS Board Candidate Shawnna Hayes-Tavares (see “APS board candidate faces accusations” on Oct. 11, page 1 and on our website), Hayes-Tavares posted a lengthy response on our website. In the comment, the authors of the story were accused of racism, factual inaccura- cies and being part of a system-wide conspiracy.

The comment inspired dialogue among staffers, our advisors and other Grady teachers. We were unsure as to how to respond. Do we publish the comment as a “Letter to the Editor”? Should we reply to the comment? With the help of our peers and teachers, the board came to a consensus: we would not respond and we would not print the response without her permission.

Hayes Tavares’s comment is what we aspire to invoke among our readers. As journalists, we strive to report on important and controversial topics that are pertinent to our readers. The Southerner is always open to feedback, and we recognize that if someone feels passionate enough to write a lengthy com- ment in reply to a story, we’ve done our job.

We encourage our readers to help us make The Southerner the best it can be by giving us your true and honest feedback. Comments and critiques help us provide relevant coverage and continue making the newspaper better and better.

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