Editor’s note: Last week, the Herald was informed by the Killeen ISD communications director that the district would no longer share photos and feature stories with the newspaper. This was in response to the Herald using district-supplied feature photos to accompany Herald news articles. The Herald wrote KISD’s superintendent and school board in an effort to reestablish the pipeline between the two entities, but on Friday, KISD’s communications director posted a letter to the community on KISD’s Facebook page, explaining why the district had terminated submissions to the Herald. Apparently, that was the administration’s response to the newspaper’s letter. The Herald firmly believes that as the school district is a taxpayer-funded entity, the district’s feature content is in the public domain and belongs to the district’s readers, not the communications director or superintendent. Below is a letter in reaction to the district’s actions.

To the Editor:

In a week fraught with firearms violations and violence, one would THINK the proper response from Killeen ISD would be to focus on showing precisely how they are addressing those direct threats to the district.

Nope.

Instead, the district has chosen to take the, “Flash the shiny thing!” approach, and employ its intrepid PR department to thoroughly “explain” why it will no longer provide features and pictures to the Killeen Daily Herald.

Really, KISD?

The district has literally had weeks of doing what works out to nothing regarding COVID protections and hiding behind the governor’s political skirts to excuse it, hundreds of COVID cases since the start of school, a teacher losing their life, AND this week of threats, all of which has only merited a series of, “We will” statements. But perceived out-of-context photos prompts such “decisive” action?

Oh, be still my beating heart!

In OTHER words, the district is saying here that since KDH isn’t saying what we want them to, we will take our ball and go home.

Anyone’s opinion of the reporting or of journalism in general doesn’t matter; the Herald has an obligation to report the news, and it doesn’t require the district’s approval. It’s also important to note that none of the published images make one iota of difference to the actual SUBSTANCE of the story, making KISD’s “action” nothing more than a flailing attempt to distract from what has been a no-good, very bad week (and year) for its battered image.

Perhaps the saddest part of this is that the attempt to spin and force the district’s version of the story down people’s throats is coming across so strongly that it actually makes them look even worse, not better.

Of course, the tepid and milquetoast COVID response coupled with the utter lack of control over its students the district is reaping from its, “Do whatever causes the least amount of waves” standard disciplinary policy has already done a fine job of making the district look bad long before this moment. Which means this petty action by the district does generate one personal silver lining:

I guess it wasn’t just me being a troublemaker after all ....

Rick Beaulé

former president

Killeen Educators Association

formerly of Harker Heights

(6) comments

aspadeaspade

Craft is a terrible leader. Their Comms approach is authoritarian to say the least. I am still wondering why at least 14 comments have been removed from their FB page concerning the Elevator at Leo Buckley. Having seen a few before they were hidden that did not violate their "comment policy" in any way, I'm confused. Do they just remove any comments or opinions they don't like?

MrsAlyKat

Yes my husband actually got blocked from the page so that he wouldn't respond on meetings

aspadeaspade

You should file a complaint followed by a suit. It's not a questioned thing, its settled case law with the fourth circuit ruling on it like 2 years ago. They aren't allowed to block you. They aren't allowed to remove posts that don't violate their rules either, which they do regularly. Including every comment made on the announcement about the elevators. This isn't even bringing into the discussion Covid and the lack of communication and purposeful suppression of information.

MrsAlyKat

We know what kind of people they are when the superintendent made excuses for her and condoned Domestic violence , after all when you call down to kisd apparently "well what Taina Maya says goes". I wasn't aware chief of communications job was to make superintendent decisions 🤔, Kdh seemed to have tried to clean that up as well though.

Rick31

Well stated sir! One of the singular reasons I retired this December from a high school administrators job was because of the complete tomfoolery initiated by KISD communications director and supported by the administration! Examples are everywhere, for instance; she tried desperately to sell the community that the knife attack occured "outside the campus" at SHS: when in fact it was on campus. The release SHE wrote for the principal to read even suggested the same. It used to be just spinning the truth, but then it became twisting and out-right lies; but then again what should we expect from a Felon!

MrsAlyKat

Exactly

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