I pitched a story today about in defense of a child in the public eye due to circumstances beyond their control. This child has been ridiculed and made a public target. Misperceptions about a group of people choosing to educate their own children and the results of that choice have been amplified.
This child and a guesstimated diagnosis have been used as a political pawn by celebrities questioning why this child's father hasn't gone public about the diagnosis no one can confirm has been made. No one seems to notice that these same celebs seek privacy for their own families because their public image is separate from their private life. No one seems to realize that no matter how public a child's parents may be, even if there is a diagnosis associated with stigma, that it is the parent's choice whether or not to use their platform to raise awareness...or protect the privacy of their child and remain silent.
wr are not owed confirmation.
Every editor turned down my pitch. I was honestly confused. It's time sensitive. It's in the news. It's all over social media. And then one editor told me that their publication is staying away from any stories related to the child in question. I replied that I only wanted to add my voice to the chorus stating that the father, a public figure, is a fair target for criticism and debate, but that the child is off-limits.
"Exactly," the editor replied. "The child is off-limits."
And then I understood.
Every time someone says this child's name in defense of their privacy, we bring them back into the spotlight. We are doing the opposite of what we think we are in the name of protecting them.
This is the only thing I will write on this issue. I won't say the child's name. I won't.
If you're reading this, don't share it. Do the right thing.
Don't say anything at all.