Settlement gives Everett teacher job back, with full pay

EVERETT — A fired journalism teacher who helped students publish an underground newspaper can return to the classroom under an agreement reached today with the Everett School District.

“This is a complete victory and total vindication of Kay Powers,” said Mike Wartelle, a teachers’ union leader. “She is returning to the classroom with full back pay. No conditions.”

The district issued a one-sentence statement late Friday afternoon: “The Everett School District and Kay Powers are pleased to announce that they have resolved their dispute to their mutual satisfaction.”

The English and journalism teacher was placed on administrative leave in June and fired in November. She was accused of helping students produce the underground paper, The Free Stehekin, during school hours and on school computers.

In the firing letter, Superintendent Carol Whitehead outlined several reasons for Powers’ dismissal, saying the teacher violated district policies and Whitehead’s personal directives.

Powers appealed the firing and asked for an open hearing, which was scheduled to begin next Wednesday.

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