Editor & Publisher
After careful study of this issue ... including our reviewing the 5 page "contract" sent home to parents (for their approval/signatures) ... We believe the idea of this "reality television" program coming to an Atlantic County (Cleary) Middle School is not only a BAD idea ... It's a very bad idea!
First, it is potentially & dramatically exploitative ... and, the contract, once signed would permit all video captured (even if not aired in the episode) to be used now, and, at anytime in the future ...
Imagine, a possible famous future leader ... who gets his/her "The Simple Life" video footage brought back from when they were 11-14 years old ...
It is the adults who are charged with making appropriate decisions on behalf of children ... The adults (School administrators) have failed miserably in this regard ... To have even put this proposal forward, is hard to believe ...      
Second, the consistent pattern of this show is to place Paris Hilton & Nicole Richie in "rural" areas ... which then become pictured as a bad joke ... to invite this type of abuse seems ridiculous to us ...
We also believe that the Principal and Vice Principal are very misguided in believing that the exposure that this show would create ... would be a positive event ... For example, as taxpayers make decisions regarding overcrowding issues at the school ... We believe that there are more positive and effective ways to communicate to parents and the taxpaying public ... A reality television stunt is not the answer ... If there are legitimate needs and concerns ... they would be more effectively addressed by Administrators, staff and Board Members (by) simply doing their job ... not inviting in "The Simple Life" to do it for them!
A more serious question will have to be answered at some point ... What were Kenneth Nelson & Danielle Sneathen thinking when they all but approved this controversial program?
The Nelson/Sneathen letter to parents states that "There are many positive aspects about the Cleary School's participation in this program."
Can you believe this? What are these many positive benefits? And, do any of them outweigh the serious questions that so many people have already raised about this issue?
The Board of Education meets tomorrow night in Buena Vista Township ... This is your opportunity to let them know how you feel ...
There are some things in life ... that when you get an invitation to participate, it's a compliment ... We feel pretty secure in saying that this invitation to "The Simple Life" is no compliment at all! 
"Hurley in the Morning" will spend the 8:00 a.m. hour (tomorrow) Monday to address these issues with the public and invite public participation ... Buena Vista Township Mayor, Chuck Chiarello will be our guest ...       

January 9, 2005