John 14:6 says;
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (ISV)
Integrity – In our learning community we stress the importance of honesty, integrity, and respect for others in all interactions between students, parents/caregivers, staff and the wider community.
What is truth?
I am fascinated by recent attention on ‘fake news’; fascinated because ‘fake news’ has been around as long as we have had the ability to tell [and retell] a story or an event.
Of course digital media has enabled more and more people to publish their ‘truths’. Mediums such as Facebook, Twitter and a range of other easily accessible platforms allow a user to tell a story or to describe an event to a wide audience.
An article in the April 2017 edition of Time magazine asks the question – Is Truth Dead? The article, which focusses on President Trump, reviewed 298 tweets sent by Trump since his election as President of the USA – 15 of which were clearly false. These false messages were then retweeted an average of 28,550 times. Those that were not clearly false were retweeted on average 23,945 times.
Further, that article goes on to say that the viral effect of this falsehood was enhanced by the news reporting – the false tweets were quoted on television an average of 31 times – more than twice as often as other tweets.
From the article:
For Trump’s allies, this is a measure of strategic brilliance, not defective character. “He understands how to make something an issue and elevate the discussion by saying things that are contrary, perhaps even unproved,” explains Roger Stone, a former adviser to Trump, who has his own penchant for spreading false conspiracy theories. “He has the ability to change the subject to what he wants to talk about.” Time Magazine April 2017.
As parents and teachers, I believe one of our greatest challenges is the equipping of our young people to navigate this difficult area. While some may seek to ‘change the subject to what we want to talk about’ or ‘put themselves in the best light following an incident’, fundamental to our wellbeing as a school community [and a society] is a commitment to personal integrity and the passionate pursuit of truth.
Mr Don Grimmett