We all know that good communication and providing transparency to parents and other community members is critically important. But we must never forget that an even bigger priority is to protect our students.

There are times when our desire to provide transparency and our responsibility to our students puts us in very difficult positions. This is especially true following an unfortunate event in a school.

There will likely be times when parents and community members will press you for information about a situation that occurred in your school, a situation that you must not comment on.

Here is a tip. A few times during the school year, as a regular part of your communications efforts, it can be helpful to remind parents, especially the most engaged parents and those that inform other parents, that you have a professional and moral responsibility to protect students and their confidentiality.

And that as a result of that responsibility, there may be situations in which you simply cannot comment.

Explain that in those situations your silence is not an effort to hide the truth, but simply the result of your obligation to your students.