As the Star reported this week, the Toronto District School Board says it never discussed the implications of allowing an 11-year-old girl to speak to a barrage of reporters after she had made false allegations that her hijab had been cut.
It was “not part of the conversation,” TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird told the Star on Tuesday.
In the interests of transparency, I think it only fair that the Star disclose that there was never any conversation in our newsroom about whether to publish the girl’s name and photographs of her taken at the school board.
The Star has no explicit policies on interviewing or identifying children. Its relatively vague guidelines on children are expressed in our standards manual in a section on privacy: “Children and teenagers — particularly those under the age of 16 who may not fully understand the implications of speaking to the media — command a special sensitivity,” it states.