Don't Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Story

Nexstar's KFDX (Wichita Falls) aired a jaw dropping story that said that police investigation into accusations of a student-employee relationship culminated in the punishment, and criminal prosecution, of the student and the promotion of the employee.

So a school employee has an improper relationship with a student and is promoted? And the student is prosecuted? 

That is what KFDX Reporter Stephanie Garland said in her report.

A huge story, but with just one problem, it was not true. 

Graham Independent School District Superintendent Sonny Cruse, is entirely fabricated, Cruse said, except for the portion that states the investigation into the allegations is ongoing. 

“I read it and it made me angry,” Cruse said. “I didn't speak with them (before the story aired).”

The superintendent was alerted to the story by the school's resource officer, Ty Viehmann, Wednesday night and immediately contacted the reporter to clear things up. 

Cruse said he spoke with the KFDX Reporter after the report had aired, and she told him that she had a phone conversation with someone who identified himself as Cruse and made the statements she cited in her report. 

“She sounded shocked,” Cruse said. “I told her — I was honest — I said, ‘I'm livid.' I said, ‘I'm very angry now because that is a total false report.'” 

Garland gave Cruse the phone number that the impersonator called from, and Cruse forwarded that number to the Graham Police Department, he said.

KFDX News Director Doug Bilyeu acknowledged the mistake and confirmed that Garland reported wrong information, but, as of press time, he could provide no further information on how this information was acquired.


H/T Lake County Sun