The Forest Park Review’s choices of headlines of this story [Fight at Proviso East involves 300, online June 6, 2013] are misleading, speculative, and pandering to emotionalism and numerous social and political fears. I do not know to what degree this is intentional but it is certainly a habitual type of journalistic “crisis reporting” focused on PTHS only, that is the preferred practice by the Forest Park Review. The YouTube video online post is a shock value and media entertainment hook.

The subtext implies guilt by association and the absurd notion that students that participated in the fighting took instructions, or were encouraged, and even condoned from the often maligned PTHS leadership, faculty and staff in featuring this event, as to imply the occurrence as a sanctioned –like after-school activity.

The key word is alleged. Maywood police are looking for others involved from that other more expensive public education system called jail … their alumnus may happen to reside in Maywood too.

Student behavior off school premises can be managed by PTHS just as easy as admission of students with 4th grade reading levels or low-test grades. Very difficult to manage is the answer. Proviso East is a public high school, not a jail, as some critics would like it to become. It happens to be located in unincorporated Cook County. Cook County Sheriff deploys limited service, and minimal capacity, without public outcry. Clearly, there is a need for local police interaction, reciprocal security agreements and partnerships serving the Proviso East campus and security of its students.

Who is who in this fight? Any reference or news coverage to the remaining student body that chose not to get into trouble?

When will the Forest Park Review run headlines such as “Maywood media critics vow to confirm PEHS 2013 graduating class” or “600 PEHS students allegedly involved in learning and in successfully passing their exams all four years; graduation videos go viral?”

Were the students involved all Maywood residents? Melrose Park? Forest Park?

It is unfair and incompetent news coverage, that the Forest Park Review does not seem interested in reporting these differentiations or editorializing the fostering of solutions.

Bob Cox
Proviso East Alumnus, District 209 Board of Education Member, Retired, certified Substitute teacher in Illinois 2012, Volunteer Co Sponsor and Facilitator of The 2013 Proviso East writers’ workshop, after school club

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