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Monday, September 29, 2008

Public records reveal details of Cascade High newspaper controversy

When students associated with an underground newspaper at Cascade High School continued to use school property to produce their publication, a hidden camera was installed in the journalism teacher's classroom. Of course, the video recordings have "gone missing," but the controversy dramatically affected the lives of the former newspaper editor, journalism teacher and school district superintendent.
It was a simple process for a trained technician. Just push up a white ceiling tile, connect a few wires, and a hidden camera was ready to record everyone coming and going in a Cascade High School classroom.

Veteran English and journalism teacher Kay Powers was in trouble.
A proud 1960s lefty whose idea of vacation was to get arrested protesting at a federal military installation, Powers helped students work on the Free Stehekin, an underground newspaper, using school equipment. That was in direct violation of district orders, but she believed she was fighting for freedom of the press.

Former Everett School District Superintendent Carol Whitehead was angry. She was determined to make sure Powers and her students obeyed. On May 10, 2007, the school district had a vendor install a hidden camera in Powers' classroom -- something school officials denied for four months until evidence emerged proving otherwise. The elected school board members, largely silent during the controversy, later sent an e-mail to all Everett's principals saying Whitehead had their full support.
More here.

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