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Hey, if restaurants can adverstise earthquake-day drink specials and theaters can promote Richter-scale-influenced $5.90 tickets, pols can use the event—or at least its consequences—to buff their images a bit, too. Right?
Take the email that went out to D.C. Public Schools parents early this morning. As of bedtime yesterday, word was that all but a small handful of the city’s schools would be open this morning. But just after 5 a.m., officials changed course, announcing that schools would be closed while engineers inspected all 126 school buildings.
Fair enough. We’ll leave it to the seismological pros to weigh in on that decision.
In the meantime, we’ll focus on the press release sent to parents about an hour later—or, rather, its headline: “Mayor Gray and Chancellor Henderson Put Safety of Children First.”
Really? You’d sort of assume that such a description might apply to anyone who runs a city, or a school system, and not just on the day after relatively minor earthquakes, either. Unlike, say, campaign mailers, this might be a place to stick to the facts: That engineers had apparently worked into the night to check schools, but more checking needed to be done, etc.
The sad thing is that, in getting word out via Twitter, Facebook, email and text messages, DCPS did a stellar job in communicating with parents. Now if only they could keep the self-congratulatory language to a minimum…