Sense and censor;Helpline;Briefing;School management

24th September 1999 at 01:00
WE ARE holding an election to fill a vacancy for a parent-governor and one of the candidates has submitted a statement for publication which is very critical of the school and its leadership. As head, must I circulate it?

As impartial election administrator, you certainly must. In a democracy, candidates have the right to inform the electorate of their opinions.

If those opinions are widely shared, they will be elected and, if not, they will lose.

If the statement contains any factual error, you might advise the parents of this. If your advice is ignored, so be it.

If you believe, however, that the criticism is unfair, you should rely on the good sense of parents to recognise the fact. To try to refute it yourself would only serve to arouse the suspicion that there might be something in it.

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