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Student journalists report on Genius Girl story that goes viral

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sprclogoThe student journalists at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology knew the story that was going viral in the public media about a student from their school needed to be told from the inside by the people who knew the real story.

The story of the ‘Genius Girl’ from TJHSST moved through public media including the Washington Post, not far from their school. According to the Washington Post, the story was actually a hoax, perpetrated by the student. The student promoted that she had been accepted into all eight Ivy League schools, but in the end, the real story showed that the student had fabricated much of the hype herself. Her peers took on the challenge and reported the story. They interviewed the principal and also others about societal pressure to make the grade.

According to their adviser, Erinn Harris, ” My students didn’t even know where to start in telling this story. A senior forged college acceptances, creating an uproar that was covered in the local, national and international press; we didn’t know what to do, but we knew we needed to do something. In their continuing coverage that began in June, students don’t plan to focus on the “Genius Girl,” but rather the social, cultural and academic stress that drove her to deceive her entire community. The goal is to keep students from feeling the kind of pressure that would lead them to making such drastic and life-altering decisions.”

Their initial story appears here: “Genius Girl” should spark conversation about academic pressure

Check out their website for more coverage in the coming year.

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