Don't underestimate the power of young journalists-in-training! When Pittsburg High School in Kansas got a new principal, journalists at the school newspaper got to work looking for dirt on her. And dirt they found. Days after a student exposé on the new principal was published in the school newspaper, she resigned, the Kansas City Star reports.
"In light of the issues that arose, Dr. Robertson felt it was in the best interest of the district to resign her position," Pittsburg Community Schools announced in a statement last night. "The Board has agreed to accept her resignation."
Her resignation came four days after the school's newspaper, the Booster Redux, published a story questioning the legitimacy of new principle Amy Robertson's educational credentials.
"She was going to be the head of our school, and we wanted be assured that she was qualified and had the proper credentials," said senior Trina Paul, an editor at the Booster Redux. "We stumbled on some things that most might not consider legitimate credentials."
Robertson claimed to have gotten her master’s and doctorate degrees at a place called Corllins University, the Star reports. But when students contacted the Department of Education, the agency could not find evidence that the school is in operation or ever existed. Students then found articles online that identified Corllins as a "diploma mill" that sells fake degrees and diplomas (based on the website, this place does not seem like a real school).
In a conference call with Booster Redux reporters, Robertson "presented incomplete answers, conflicting dates and inconsistencies in her responses," the newspaper reported.
"Everybody kept telling them, 'stop poking your nose where it doesn’t belong,'" newspaper adviser Emily Smith told the Washington Post. "They were at a loss that something that was so easy for them to see was waiting to be noticed by adults."
Nevertheless, they persisted.
Smith told The Post that the school held an emergency faculty meeting yesterday, where the superintendent said that Robertson had been unable to prove she received an undergraduate degree from the University of Tulsa, as she had claimed. Hours later, she resigned.
So the moral of the story is: Adults are dumb. Teens rule. And working on a high school newspaper is just as exciting as it was portrayed on Gilmore Girls.