Legal Lunch Room

As school leaders strive for transparency, effective communication becomes paramount. But it’s certainly not without challenges. From handling controversial topics to managing social media platforms, to establishing a positive relationship with traditional media outlets, school officials face numerous complexities when it comes to dealing with the media. On this episode of Legal Lunch Room, we’ll be diving into the world of media relations and its impact on schools.

What is Legal Lunch Room?

The Legal Lunch Room, a new education law podcast from the KingSpry Law Firm, invites attorneys and school leaders to sit at our table and share how current education law trends and court decisions impact school boards, students and our community.

Rich 00:19
As school districts and school boards strive for transparency, effective communication becomes paramount. But it's certainly not without challenges. From handling controversial topics to managing social media platforms to establishing a positive relationship with traditional media outlets. School officials face numerous complexities when it comes to dealing with the media.

Jon 00:40
Today we'll be diving into the world of media relations and its impact on school districts and school boards. With the help of a panel of experts who have successfully navigated this complex landscape. Our guests will share their insights drawn from their own experiences as they shed light on the legal considerations, communication strategies and delicate balance required when interacting with the media as education leaders. I'm Jonathan Huerta.

Rich 01:02
And I'm Richard Campbell. We're attorneys with the Kings pry law firm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Welcome to the legal lunch room. Each episode, we'll be looking at the laws that affect school boards, administrators, students, and our community. Thanks for tuning in. Today, we're joined by education attorneys Don Spry and Kristine Roddick. Don is a founding member of King Spry, who has advised school boards for decades on best practices and legally defensible procedures. Kristine is chair of Kings prize education law practice group and a former President of the Pennsylvania school board solicitors Association. Both of you have probably seen it all when it comes to board governance and proceedings. So we're very much looking forward to this conversation. Don, Kristine, thanks so much for joining us in the legal lunch room.

Kristine 01:54
Thanks for having us.

Rich 01:55
So let's dig right in. I think this question is top of mind for many school board members. What are the recommended practices for handling controversial or sensitive topics when communicating with the media, particularly when it involves ongoing legal matters or investigations?

Don 02:13
I think the watch-word would be communicate carefully. I think best practices are to designate a person. typically if it is in litigation, it should be the solicitor to discuss with the media. If the school board feels that it's necessary to make a statement, the president of the board or the superintendent should create a statement vetted through counsel before the statement is made. And the reason for that is we typically look at this from the courtroom back. And what happens and what we see is if a school board member or someone at administration makes comments, they'll probably be deposed. It may not harm the case, but it's not a nice day for you, as a school director or an administrator, to have to be deposed by a plaintiff's lawyer, disrupt your day, take time away from what you shouldn't be doing. So I think, be careful what is said, designate a person within the district if necessary, but preferred practice or best practice would be to have the solicitor comment.

Kristine 03:42
I can also just expand a little bit upon what Don said, I think that the spokesperson from the district should not deviate or stray from the agreed upon statement that was vetted by legal counsel. And I also recommend that a printed copy of the statement should be made available to the media to ensure accuracy of reporting.

Rich 04:07
What about a legal effect of a solicitor or lawyer statement? Does that have any impact on admissions for liability purposes?

Don 04:15
No. And I think that's the point is the solicitor or counsel is speaking on behalf of his or her client. It's the client who can be deposed and asked questions about the comments, not the lawyer.

Rich 04:29
Well that's certainly very sound advice. Is there any change where there's an emergency or crisis situation? I know we advise school districts to have an emergency communications plan in place in the event of a crisis. So what are some of the best practices for these plans?

Don 04:47
Again, I think there needs to be a spokesman predetermined in the policy of the school district, because many times these crises can end up in litigation. So what Kristine and I talked about earlier about litigation would apply here. But I think what administrators are very concerned about in emergencies is getting ahead of it. circumstances such as a fight in school, somebody being injured in school, they don't want the parents to hear this, from the newspapers for social media. So they need to be out in front of it. And we get phone calls many times. And we really have to drop everything else to really accommodate that, because I think it is important for school districts to keep communication with parents,

Kristine 05:31
I also think that there's different levels of threats or crises or emergencies in a school setting. And if you're dealing with something significant, like an armed shooter, a breach of the school facility and safety of the students. I think for those situations, schools should have a professional media consultant, who are experts in deciding upon communications during an emergency or during the crisis. And it may not necessarily be an on-staff person, but they should have somebody lined up that they can pick up the phone and consult with during these situations. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association has a crisis consultant who can be engaged at little or no cost to provide advice and any guidance in such situations. And another interesting thing that schools can do, there is now a Pennsylvania School Safety Institute that offers a state of the art training center for addressing emergency security threats, district personnel, security staff, law enforcement officials can learn tactics in this room. This facility was funded by the Pennsylvania School Board Association trust originally, and it is up and coming. So I would just urge district administrators and board members to take a look at that.

Rich 06:53
Thanks, Kristine. Let's move to everyone's favorite topic, social media. In the age of social media, what are the potential legal implications for school districts in terms of social media and how they respond to negative comments or criticism online?

Kristine 07:14
I think when a school becomes an object of negative comment on social media, their first response should be to consider no response. I believe responses, breed responses. And I kind of it's now just to to in person public comment, school districts and school board members do not have to respond during public comment. It's their obligation to listen, if a response has to be made. For social media, we recommend that it be written in as matter of fact style as possible, with a view towards not inciting more negative comments. Obviously, the district should avoid commentary as reply on the same social media platform, as the negative comment was made.

Don 08:12
This is a theme, I think, that runs through what we previously talked about litigation, social media, it prolongs the discussion, when you respond. Having said that many times school district or a target in the school district of this social media feel some kind of need to respond, we typically recommend, as Kristine stated that, you know, be factual, don't get into back and forth, keep it short, keep it factual, and move on and try not to respond anymore. If possible, the new cycle is such that the next day something else is going to be out there, and everybody's going to be off of this unless you respond.

Rich 08:49
I liked that responses, breed responses, I think experience matters in advising districts and boards on these issues. What are some of the most important things you've learned over the years with regards to working with the press

Don 09:03
a couple of things that I think we all agree upon in our firm, and that is to be responsive to the press when you receive a phone call from a reporter. Don't ignore it, even in those circumstances where you may have to make no comment. Kristine mentioned earlier, when you do make a statement or make a comment, have a written statement available. But if the press calls to ask information about a lawsuit, if you trust the reporter and have an ongoing relationship with the reporter, you can go off the record, the understanding being if you're off the record, nothing is going to be attributed to you. You're not going to be quoted. And the purpose of that sometimes is to give an explanation of what's going on in the lawsuit not releasing confidential information, but explaining what the lawsuits are about so that when you go on the record with the reporter to talk to the reporter the reporter has a better background for the Report. But I think one of the key things is you don't want to expand too much on what your discussion is. Because even though you can't be deposed as a lawyer, it can have an effect on the litigation if you don't try cases and for us.

Kristine 10:12
Sometimes reporters reach out to attorneys to learn the law or to learn a specific statutory provision. I mean, the statute is the statute, but as lawyers, we learn how those statutes are interpreted by hearing officers, by courts, etc. So when a reporter reaches out that way, by all means, please respond to them. They're trying to get educated on a topic they may not understand. And I think that is good reporting. We want accurate stories, we want accurate information. And I think that also goes a long way to developing a professional relationship with the press, which could in certain aspects, help your client.

Don 10:55
And I think as a credit to the reporter, if reporters are going to call to get information to educate themselves, it's going to be, you know, better reporting.

Rich 11:05
What about cases where inaccurate information is reported by the media? What are some effective strategies for school districts to correct the record and mitigate any potential harm?

Don 11:16
My view is you call the reporter and set the record straight, I don't think you bash the reporter, because this reporter is going to be reporting on other things in the school district. So when, years ago before social media, one lawyer said, Never get into a fight with somebody that buys ink by the barrel. So you know, you don't want to offend a reporter, because it could come back to bite the school district.

Kristine 11:44
My only other comment on that is, if you're communicating with them immediately via telephone, I would always follow up that communication in writing.

Rich 11:53
So let's segue a bit here and talk about the Sunshine Act. What is the most common question that you get from school officials about the Sunshine Act?

Kristine 12:03
The Sunshine Act carves out certain topics that school board members can discuss in private. Those meeting employment, labor negotiations, the purchase or lease of property, pending litigation, legal advice, confidential, privileged matters, and emergency preparedness. So that's the most common question that I received about the Sunshine Act, then the question becomes, if it isn't a Sunshine Act topic, can it even be brought up in Executive Session? And I think there's a misnomer that unless it fits within one of those categories. It's absolutely prohibited to be discussed. And I disagree that I think that there is information that superintendents or other board administrators can give to their board in executive session without running afoul of the Sunshine Act. But then they need to be a little bit careful also, because they can't engage in deliberations. So where's that line drawn? Or where's that line crossed? I have a tendency to take a cautious approach, I think that they can ask questions of the administrators once information is given to them. But once they start giving their opinion, or trying to sway another board member to agree with them, I think they are getting dangerously close to violating the act by deliberating in private.

Don 13:33
I agree with that. I think that a school board member always has the right to educate himself or herself. And really the the presentation, if you will, is for the purpose of educating and sometimes school board members don't publicly want to be asking questions, because they might feel that it makes them you know, not look like they're on top of things or whatever the reason is, so asking an engineer, for example, what's this? What's that? That's fine. I mean, I think in Christine's example, but then saying, Well, I don't think that a football field should be placed there. I think it should be some other place. That's not permitted, in my view, because the Sunshine Law requires deliberation to be public. You know, the the people have a right to hear that debate. Right. But I don't think the executive sessions prohibits people from more members of elected officials receiving information prior to an open meeting where the debate will occur.

Rich 14:35
So I know it's a long list, but what's the single most important thing that school officials can do to ensure that they comply with the requirements of the Sunshine Act?

Kristine 14:45
New and re elected school board members are now legally required to attend board education, which includes education on the Sunshine Law, pursuant to the public school code, and in addition, every year there are numerous opportunities to attend school law seminars that provide information on current sunshine amendments and court rulings on those amendments, and also administration and ourselves as school board solicitors have the responsibility to also educate board members on Sunshine Law developments. So there's a variety of different forums in which you can get that additional information.

Don 15:24

Rich 15:47
What are some practical tips our listeners can take from our conversation today regarding compliance and avoiding litigation?

Don 15:55
One of the issues that comes up a lot is right to know law issues. And that's integrated into the analysis for litigation because emails are public. But when you get involved in litigation, it's not only the right to know law, we may advise a client that that the right that a certain document is exempt from public disclosure for right to know law purposes. But if a lawsuit is filed, and discovery occurs, which is a deposition questioning somebody or a subpoena for records, those records have to be supplied, unless it's an email, for legal advice between counsel and the board. There was there's some very practical advice that I heard years ago from the chief officer at the office of open records, which was pick up the phone, even though it's attorney client privileged, if there's a real sensitive litigation issue, we call and talk to the superintendent or the board member, whoever it is, as opposed to doing emails, even though it's attorney client privileged things can be attorney client privilege, but somebody can find out about it, it can be problematic.

Kristine 17:08
And another good tip is, we all know that emails can be discoverable. So write your emails, like you're writing a correspondence, make them formal, make them professional. I think it can go a long way to protecting the district. I always have a phrase "say some things in your inner voice." Or as to piggyback on what attorney Spry said, say them in person, there are certain things that you should just not put in writing.

Rich 17:36
Thank you, Don and Christine. We covered a lot of practical knowledge. And I know our audience certainly appreciates it. So thank you for being on the show today.

Don 17:48
Thanks for having me.

Kristine 17:49
It was a pleasure.

Rich 17:50
Up next, my co host Jonathan Huerta talks with Dr. Elizabeth Robison, superintendent of Pocono Mountain School District, and Wendy Frable, who is Poconos Director of Public Relations and Compliance Services.

Jon 18:05
Joining us today in the legal lunch room, we have Dr. Elizabeth Robison, superintendent and Wendy Frable, Director of Public Relations and Compliance Services of Pocono Mountain School District. Welcome Liz and Wendy, thanks for joining us today.

Liz 18:18
Thank you. It's great to be here, Jonathan.

Wendy 18:20
It's great to be here. We look forward to our podcast today.

Jon 18:23
So you're in the legal lunch room, you know, we want to equip our listeners with practical guidance and real life examples to help school leaders navigate the legal challenges that arise on a day to day basis, and the needs of their school communities. So that's why we'd like to bring in our partners in the community and the school districts to kind of give just a real life boots on the ground approach to some of the legal things we talk about. So let's start with both of you introducing yourselves and the roles you play at Pocono Mountain School District. So, Dr. Robision,

Liz 18:58
Yes, thank you. I'm the superintendent of schools at Pocono Mountain School District. And I'm happy to say that I'll be starting my 35th year within the Pocono Mountain School District. I was fortunate enough to start back in 1988 as a reading specialist and worked my way up to the superintendent of schools. Prior to that, I also had two years of first grade teaching experience.

Wendy 19:20
And I'm Wendy Frable. On, as Jonathan said, the Director of Public Relations. I had a whole career before I started with Pocono Mountain School District. I was in the Air Force for 23 years and retired from the Air Force and moved back home. Monroe County is my home. And I was fortunate enough to see the job advertisement for Pocono Mountain School District. And to my surprise, they hired me. I've been with Pocono Mountain School District for 17 years now, working in the capacity of their director of Public Relations and Communications.

Jon 19:49
Fantastic. Now, before we even get into the questions I have to ask, Wendy you did public relations in the Air Force as well? Right

Wendy 19:55
I did my first three years I was in communications where I had my top secret clearance and all that kind of stuff. And then I switched over to Public Affairs is what they call it in the Air Force. And I traveled all over. I retired after my last assignment at McGuire, I was at the Pentagon for a tour. I was in Afghanistan, I was in Kuwait. I supported the Yugoslavia mission when actually Yugoslavia was all torn apart and war torn. And so I just had some really unique fun experiences.

Jon 20:24
So the take home is you need that to be prepared to do public relations in the school district. Right?

Wendy 20:28
I think it helps a lot. The crisis communication. Experience does help.

Jon 20:34
So jumping into the questions, can you share a specific example of a situation where the media coverage of your school district resulted in difficulties or controversy? And how did you handle it?

Liz 20:45
Well, it's funny, Jonathan, it seems like ever since I took over as superintendent, which would have been in 2011, we had a number of large controversies that occurred that myself and Wendy side by side I've had to deal with. So one big one that certainly comes to mind when we're talking about some experiences had to do when we actually closed a charter school. we knew that as a district, we were doing the right thing for the students within our school community. But dealing with all of the media and all the various avenues really put Wendy and I's first ability, I think, to the test of working together as a team, under that type of a situation.

Wendy 21:25

Wendy 23:39
I don't think we can underestimate the need to pre plan and to plan the best that you can. I put together what I call tactical communication plans, you know, your big strategic one is for the whole district. It supports the strategic objectives of the district, but then for anything, including maybe a budget where you're raising taxes, things like that, I put together what's a skinny down version of that plan. It could be if you're having tough contract negotiations, even so we've used them for things like that. And we do identify our key audiences, what those messages should be for those audiences, we come up with q&a, what are the toughest questions you could possibly face? And try to answer those, and what is the bottom line message that you want parents and the school community to understand? And then we sit down and we discuss that the rest of the cabinet will review that and we go from there. But Dr. Robison and I work that messaging very closely together, anytime we have an emergency. We work together on that the rest of the cabinet is involved in the review process,

Jon 25:52
So I think a lot of what I'm hearing also is that the interrelationship between the superintendent and the decision makers and the public relations, whoever you may have in that position, your experience together matters a whole lot as well, because it sounds like you feed off of each other when you're developing these messages.

Wendy 26:09
We do and our guts are really good. And they things that don't sit well with us, it hits different nerves, so based on our own life experiences.

Liz 26:18
But I would add to that, Wendy has also taken extra like public relations classes that she's continued to take. because there's times you can never feel like you have all the answers, because there's always something you're going to be faced with that's a little bit different on how we need to respond. So I appreciate that Wendy continues to, you know, really develop her education and further taking courses that sometimes really adds to us, maybe developing something in a little bit different way.

Jon 26:48
What I'm also hearing a lot of is we're talking about how to frame the message. How do we get the message out, though, in your experience? What's the best way to get your message out? Or a new story out? And in this day and age? Do you still do it through press releases? Is it digital?

Wendy 27:04
Well, press releases still have their place. But press releases are different, I still do them up on the old press release form that we have formatted, but I always send it, copy and paste it into an email and send electronically. So if I had a press conference, and I needed to hand out copies, or if I wanted something to hand out at a board meeting, I have the printed copy, it's all formatted properly. But no newsroom is going to open attachments unless you can pique their curiosity to start out with. But in answer to your underlying question of what is the right way, it depends on what the issue is, and who your audience is, and what the message is that you're trying to get across. There are many times where say we have an issue, and we've researched the media coverage of this issue,. we may decide that we're going to communicate what we consider directly with the parents. So a letter home from the superintendent, phone message recorded by the superintendent, a video if we need to, town hall meetings, we rarely do press conferences, if we do a press conference, it's going to be a real crisis, or something so darn good we just can't pass up the opportunity and so unique. So we rarely do those. We save those for emergency situations, or something so outstanding that we really feel it needs that.

Liz 28:42
I would add though the parent like messages, I think, you know, every school district uses those and certainly uses that form of communication to parents. But what we've realized is that if it's just everyday messages, those things really need to come from just the building principals and building assistant principals are those people that are related to the building. Normally, when I'm doing a parent like message, it's something a little bit of greater importance. And then they tend to listen, because sometimes if it's about lunch money or about something else that's coming home, and apparently they're used to the same voice they hang up. But most times I'll have parents give us feedback. If we hear it's the superintendent calling, they tend to listen to the message. So we've tried to make sure that when we're preparing them, that we're crafting it that way that the buildings are handling building things, whether they're events in the buildings, but if it's something a little bit larger, or something of much more importance, I'm sending the parent link message.

Jon 29:32
That makes a lot of sense. And I think what I'm also hearing is that there's a cognizance of that personal touch also, making sure that there's a relatability to the person delivering the message and that helps to deliver it to the parents. So earlier in the show, we had Kristine Roddick and Don Spry from the firm talk a little bit about their position on speaking to the media and the consensus typically is, it's not a bad thing to actually speak to the media, right. It's typically better than going silentRadio silence. So do you agree with that kind of sentiment that it's better to get something out there?

Wendy 30:08
It depends. And, you know, when you look at at a, say a crisis, any crisis, you have to determine what level do you think this crisis will rise to. And so you have to prepare for that. And talking to the media, we usually do that. I usually do a written statement, send it to them by email, versus just dropping everything to do a stand up because of the time, the location, all those things, and the media will read my whole statement, when I send it to them, as long as it's not six paragraphs long. And then they'll post it with the story that they write. So I don't rule anything out with how we do it. But usually, when a crisis hits, our first thing is going to be some type of written statement, it may be posted to our website, it may be posted to our District Facebook page, it may be sent to the media, probably all of those things, and then Dr. Robison can do the parent link, which is kind of like a connect ad, that's the recorded phone calls, since we didn't explain that. And so we use all of those methods..

Liz 31:47
I don't think you're ever going to see Pocono Mountain wasn't there, they didn't respond. Wendy always responds. So if there's an inquiry, I think she has developed that reputation in our area that if someone is asking a question, they're going to be provided an answer. And I think that's very good advice. Because when you start when you're just not available, you kind of lose that integrity in the community, where we like to answer the question, we like to get whatever is the truth out there and be transparent.

Jon 32:17
No, I think that makes a lot of sense. Thank you, Dr. Robison. Now, same playbook for what I would say is maybe negative publicity?

Wendy 32:27
Yes, it really is. The some of the crisis communication training that have taken in the last five years, I don't know if you know about the Public Relations Society of America, but they offer some excellent certificate programs for PR, public relations, folks in crisis communications, and one of their experts there, he formulates everything on when you're responding to any situation, what would a reasonable person expect a responsible organization to do in this situation? And that message just clicks with me because it supports everything that I learned through the military and their training. And since it just kind of focuses down on one sentence. And if you stay focused on that, and stick with honesty, you know, you have to be honest, you have to have accountability, you have to show you care. All of those things, you just really can't go wrong. So you may have a negative situation, and negative publicity around that situation. But you have to handle it in a way that shows you're responsible. You care. And it's not about you. It's about your stakeholders. It's about the children. For us, our main stakeholders are the children. But Dr. Robison always brings that back to the children. And as long as we keep children at the forefront. She's taught me that we can't go wrong. Hopefully we're making the right decision.

Jon 33:54
No, absolutely. No, in the years I've worked with you I've always noticed every board meeting, every decision made that is something that continues to be echoed. At the end of the day stakeholders are the children. So no, thank you for that answer, Wendy. Now, in today's digital age, social media has a significant impact on public perception. How do you navigate the complex landscape of social media and ensure that your school district's message is effectively conveyed?

Liz 34:19
I think that's probably honestly the most difficult challenge that we deal with daily, because it's almost impossible for an organization to stay up with every social media site. I will tell you, though, that myself and Wendy... Wendy has actually gotten better at this than I am. I tend to still have people that are on these Facebook pages that will more or less let me know what's going on. If there is something and I like everything to be perfect. So if I see something that someone's saying, and I know that it's absolutely wrong, I of course will tell Wendy and then we'll have this little debate, which is kind of funny when he says it's two comments, Dr. Robison, like why are you worried? Well, we have to get the truth out. It's two comments. It didn't go anywhere. So we then have to navigate those waters. And I think we have enough trust in our local community, the people that are on those social media sites that we've established relationships with, that will let us know, hey, you know, from the district's point of view, we better get something put on here, So we really have to navigate that. But we do have our own Facebook page that Wendy and the team have put together. We don't allow comments, but we at least put out all the things that we think are important. And I think we've really worked with our community. Now they know Oh, my goodness, if there is something, they're going to go to our site, versus having to worry about looking for another site to get information, right, which I think is crucial.

Wendy 35:55
It is and we're not afraid of comments. That's not why we did it the way we did it, it's just we don't have the resources to monitor it 24/7.. But we have a contact phone number, and people can message us on there. And we respond to those immediately, too. So social media, the research is pretty conclusive on it. If you let it go, it usually self corrects. But you have to decide how long you're going... because then people start chiming in. No, that's not what happened. No, I saw this, no, the district put this message out. But see, they may have a letter to refer to. And so then other parents will post the letter that Dr. Robison sent home, or a copy of the voicemail that was sent there that maybe that parents said they didn't receive. And maybe they didn't, so we can look it up and see if they did, I also have a good relationship with some of the parent Facebook page administrators. If it's something serious, like a rumor about a threat, they'll contact me and ask me and sometimes they will hold back on posting it, or they'll ask for a statement so that when they do post that comment, allow it to go live, there's a statement from the district to go there, too.

Jon 37:18
I guess the last question I kind of have is related to social media and the way some messages get delivered. We've had a rise in what people can classify as fake news or misinformation, right? And how do you approach combating those false narratives? And I think you talked a little bit at least on social media, maybe it's self corrects. But when it hasn't self corrected, what are some of your other tools to combat false narratives or inaccurate reporting that you become aware of?

Wendy 37:45
Well, some of the ways we do it is I will post a statement but I do that rarely. And the reason for that is I really do believe in freedom of speech. And people should be able to say what they want, as long as it's not going to create harm or panic in the community. Or if it's just so egregiously wrong, you have to correct it. So there are a lot of things that I would consider fake that are said or misinterpretations of things. And so we pick and choose which ones we want to correct. there are things... a threat against a school or a rumor of a threat that has to be corrected. We can't just let that hanging out there, because parents are really afraid. And, we have to contact the police. And you'll go through the whole process. So we have our regular communication methods. And one of the things we do is many times Dr. Robison will address the issues that are out there. In her Superintendent report, when she starts it out, she'll have a statement ready, she'll make that statement about a rumor or something that we just need to correct the record on to get the facts out to parents for board meetings, and which is we videotape them. Now those videos are available. And even though there may only be 150 people on that, it starts spreading through that same old social media, because you used to have reporters that were experts on the subject, you don't have that anymore, newsrooms have been cut so terribly. There's just a handful of reporters, and they have to cover everything. So our challenge is just to get the correct information out as much as we can. Because lobbyists are using those social media sites, activists are using those social media sites, and how we feel about it depends on what our own personal bias is and views on which comments we like and which ones we don't. So we try to be very even handed when we're on the job, we're... I don't know if a-political is the right term, but the politics doesn't come into it, because we just don't have time for that. So we just focus on what we need to say to reassure our community and to maintain that trust.

Liz 40:16
And I think that trust is also with your own. Like, we rely a lot on all of our stakeholders in our own Pocono Mountain School District community that's important to us. I mean, we have to make sure when it's not just, you know, Wendy and I putting this message out, like all of our principals need to understand our assistant principals, our supervisors, our director. So, you know, if you're looking at just the 1100 people that work for us, we have to make sure they understand that message, because then they are the carrier also of getting that correct information out. So you have to rely on them as a whole team.

Jon 40:47
Absolutely. Well, Dr. Robison, Wendy, thank you very much for all this today. I think what I took from this was, you know, there's a level... certainly honesty is at the forefront. But there's a level of relationship building that really goes into maintaining and ensuring that the public gets the right message from the school district and has accurate information. Well, thank you both for your time today.

Liz 41:10
Thank you for having us. Thank you.

Jon 41:17
Thanks for joining us today for the Legal Lunch Room. If you like our show, please subscribe wherever you get your podcast. You can also visit our website at To find more educational resources and programming. This podcast is a production of KingSpry's education law practice group. It is meant to be strictly informational and does not constitute legal advice. Should you have any questions about our topic today, please consult with your local legal counsel. This episode was produced by Steel Pixel Studios. Our theme music is by Don Loughney. Have a comment or suggestion for a future episode? Write to us at Until next time, I'm Jonathan Huerta, and we hope you'll join us again in the legal lunch room.