SALEM, OR (KPTV) – An award-winning journalist from South Salem High School was disinvited to appear before the Salem-Keizer school board shortly after writing a critical article on the school board members.
FOX 12 first met Eddy Binford-Ross on the streets of Portland last summer. She was one of the few high school students working to cover the protests and riots in Portland. Her work for the high school paper, The Clypian, has earned her numerous awards, including being named Oregon's High School Journalist of the Year. This led to the Salem-Kaiser School Board asking her to come to April's meeting to be recognized.
But something changed, causing the board to cancel that invitation. That something was a critical article Binford-Ross wrote titled "Scandals, Special Interests and Dysfunction Plague School Board."
"I think it was incredibly disappointing," Binford-Ross said.
The article detailed where board members were getting their campaign contributions. She thinks it's pretty apparent that's why the school board canceled her appearance.
"It's an extensive look into the history of our current school board, and it's based on campaign finance that's information that's publically available," Binford-Ross said.
School board Chair Dr. Satya Chandragiri said it wasn't the article itself that was the problem.
"We really wanted her recognition to be stand-alone, without any controversy or misunderstanding because she is an accomplished student," Dr. Chandragiri said.
He said it's the political situation the article created, saying people currently running for the school board were using it as ammunition to get current board members voted out.
"The reason they gave publically was because it was shared by a left-wing group on social media, and you know that's not how journalism works," Binford-Ross said. "I don't have any control once a story is published who shares it who picks it up."
The board chairman told FOX 12 he still wants to honor Binford-Ross but only after the May election.
Binford-Ross tells FOX 12 that she's still deciding whether or not she'll accept that invitation.