For Immediate Release ------------------------------------------------------------------- "Beat the Press," the local Boston TV show hosted by Emily Rooney featured the Sunday New York Times article "A Terrifying Way to Discipline Children."
The 7-minute segment, which aired on Sept. 16, 2012, was filled with factual errors. Among then that the Times did not fact check the article (they did, thoroughly); that I filed no 51A child abuse reports "at the time" (I did, and the DCF logs of those reports have been released to the media); that the Times said the description of how I found my daughter in the article is “untrue" (untrue); and perhaps the most glaring error: that the Boston Globe was the only news outlet in town to substantially cover the editor's note (also, untrue).
The Times has neither retracted or corrected the story and not a word of it has been changed in article in the NY TImes on-line edition. I stand by the story, as does the Times.
Meanwhile, the Boston Globe reported that the Times editor's note, which highlighted Lexington's unsubstantiated disputes with the story, was published "in response" to Lexington.
As media critic Dan Kennedy correctly pointed out on the "Beat the Press" segment, the editor's note was "not a correction, not a retraction," that the story is "not being retracted in any sense," by the Times. Kennedy also pointed out in the broadcast that Lexington’s settlement of the case involving my daughter, for nearly $400,000, indicated, contrary to Lexington's ongoing position that they have done nothing wrong through their use of restraints and seclusion rooms in their schools, in fact indicates something serious must have happened in my daughter’s case.
The editor’s note also got wrong what Rose’s mother said in a deposition, and is wrong when it says the deposition directly disputes my account of how we found our daughter (it does not. You can read Chan's Editor's Note and the deposition on-line at www.TerrifyingDiscipline.com)
I have asked WGBH for corrections and an apology in a letter to CEO and president Jonathon Abbott (attached). I await his response.
In the meantime, my comments on the "Beat the Press" website have repeatedly deleted, including these two from over the weekend that you can see in bold at: www.Bit.Ly/missingcomments
The media regarding restraints and seclusion rooms in schools, my daughter's case and my article are on-line at: www.terrifyingdiscipline.com
As more and more cases have come to light in Lexington and nationally, it’s time to turn from the “he said/she said” parsing of words, and to set the record straight, and turn public attention to the more critical and pressing issue of the safety and care of our kids
Bill Lichtenstein Bill@LCMedia.com
The three issues that the editor's note raised are:
1) How I found my daughter on January 6, 2012 (naked in a basement closet at the Old Harrington School);
2) Whether I filed 51A child abuse reports at the time period that is the subject of the story and Chan’s editor’s note (I did, in early 2007); and
3) The location of the isolation room/closet (the closet is on the basement stairwell of the school, not in the “Mezzanine,” as Lexington claims and Chan reported in the editor’s note. ( Photos of the basement closet have been posted at the bottom of www.TerrifyingDiscipline.com )