Ask Joe: Coverage of teacher death

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Updated: 4/24 7:04 pm
Question:
From the Ask Joe file, a question about the death of a popular teacher in Carson City that has been in the news this past week.
It is a tragic story, the teacher committed suicide. A News 4 viewer wrote in asking why we publicized her death, since it was a suicide. She said it is very painful to those who knew her.

Answer:
We typically do not report on suicides unless it's a person in the public eye, or the situation impacts the public in some way.
In this case, the person involved -- Debbie Elder -- was a teacher, and responsible for the safety of the students in her class. So we felt it was a situation parents, and others, should know about.
Also, Elder did die out of state, and it wasn't clear at first how she died. So, our report was a chance to provide some clarification.
News 4 always tries to be as sensitive as possible when covering any stories, especially a suicide, because we realize there are family and friends who are impacted. But we believe answering this question is more important than leaving question marks.
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