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Full disclosure without proven evidence

by on February 27, 2014

By Alyx Rivard

I was looking through the Los Angeles Times when an interesting article caught my attention. The title read, “Beverly Hills principal did not report $40,000, report says.” The article was written on February third and is about the possible embezzlement of $40,205.97 in checks by Principal Carter Paysinger. The money was generated from a summer sports camp for some of the school’s student athletes, which is affirmed to bring in $60,000 to $70,000 each summer. However, reports prove that this money was never used for Beverly High’s athletic teams.

When investigators confronted Paysinger, he claimed that the checks were meant for his brother, the school’s athletic director, and were transferred over to him in a series of various transactions over the years. This however could not be proven being that the money was either withdrawn in cash or through checks, which were never recorded “with a specified payee.” There is no proof yet to where and who the $40,000 of athletic funds was distributed to.

Some parents also began to claim that they thought camp attendance was mandatory for students participating in athletic teams. This raises even more ethical issues being that the administration is now accused of manipulating students’ parents in order to get their money from camp fees.

The LA times referred to this ethical dilemma as a conflict-of-interest. I think this issue properly fits the description because, as alleged, Paysinger was motivated by a different interest than the rest of the school district for hosting an athletic camp and, if proven true, did this through a series of corruptive tactics.

The story seems to remain unresolved as police continue their investigation. As a journalist, what would you consider including in a follow up article? Would you try to interview Principal Paysinger? Would you try and reach out to his brother for an interview? If nothing can be further proven to declare Paysinger as guilty do you think he should be able to keep his job as the principal? Do you think it was ethical of the LA Times in the first place to specify the principal’s name if nothing has been proven yet and he could be completely innocent, considering this doesn’t just effect him it also has negative ramifications on the entire student body and community.


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