LEAK: Palm Beach School District Tells Employees To Ignore Media Calls

UPDATE: 10:15pm — The Palm Beach County School District has requested that we publish what it is calling a “clarification” to this article which we will, below:

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — In what appears to be a stunning email error, the communications department at the Palm Beach County School District has sent an email blast — to the media — with internal notes instructing school officials NOT to speak with the media on certain topics, including “Fidget Spinners,” insurance and the state budget. In what reads like a page from the “Sean Spicer playbook,” the internal email even includes this:

“This daily update is sent to school board members and district leadership as a service from the Department of Communications and Engagement.”

Here is the email sent to BocaNewsNow.com:

The following is an update from the Office of Communications for today, May 16.
District News

Hagen Road Elementary Hosts 50th Annual May Day Celebration- While you may not hear much about May Day celebrations anymore, the tradition is still going strong at Hagen Road Elementary School in Boynton Beach where they held their 50th annual event this past Friday.

Lake Park ES Holds Ribbon Cutting, Harvests First Crops from School Garden- Representatives from BurgerFi and Change Matters, Inc. joined fourth graders and administrators at Lake Park Elementary School Monday for a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the school’s new vegetable garden, donated by Change Matters and built by BurgerFi employees.

Media Inquiries:
Property Insurance: Rowan Moore Gerety from WRLN is asking to speak to Risk Management about property insurance. Communications is working with Risk and Benefits on whether to provide answers.

State Budget- Howard Goodman from the Palm Beach Post Editorial Board asked for some information on the State Budget and HB7069. Communications directed him toward the website created to answer the questions.

Finger Spinners ban- WPEC contacted the principal at Palm Beach Public about the Post blog story today that states that the school has banned fingers spinners. Communications advised her not to return their phone call. WPTV contacted Communications directly on the subject. Communications advised it was a school-by-school decision made by the principals.
This daily update is sent to school board members and district leadership as a service from the Department of Communications and Engagement. If you need media relations support or to inform us of a pending media inquiry, please call 357-1114.

 

Here is the “clarification” written by the School District:

“…the media update is a department summary to our leadership team and Board members, sharing links to the stories posted on our website, as well as our media inquiries for the day. It represents only one portion of the conversation we have with the media and District employees all day long. In many cases where we are advising principals they don’t have to return media calls, it is because we have already released a statement at the District level or have spoken at length about the topic.

In the case of the fidget spinners, we had already responded to media that it is a school-based decision to limit the spinners at school if they become disruptive in the classroom.”
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