Spying on teacher in character for Everett School District

  • By Evan Smith Enterprise forum editor
  • Thursday, May 1, 2008 1:16pm

The news that the Everett School District bugged the classroom of teacher Kay Powers seems too preposterous to believe.

But I believe it.

I believe it because it’s consistent with the kind of petty, vindictive behavior we’ve come to expect from the school district.

This is a school district that took two former students to federal court to assert its right to prior restraint on a high school newspaper.

It’s a school district that did everything it could to hinder students from putting out off-campus publications, including disciplining a student, firing a teacher and attempting to take away Powers’ teaching certificate after she allowed the editor of an off-campus newspaper to use a school computer.

It’s a school district that spent a large amount of taxpayer money fighting student free-press rights rather than letting the issues die as the student population turned over.

So, it’s not hard to believe that the School District would plant recording devices in Powers’ classroom.

Some people think businessmen would take any dishonest step to earn a few extra bucks. I don’t believe it.

Some people think politicians would abandon their principles to get votes.

I don’t believe it.

Some people think that football coaches would cheat to win a few games.

I don’t believe it.

Some people think that the Everett School District would spy on teachers to keep them in line.

I believe that.

Voter identification at the polls is impractical

The U.S. Supreme Court decided a few days ago that states could require voters to show identification to vote.

I wonder if the decision will mean anything in Washington where most people vote by mail.

Defending the ABC Questioners in the Pennsylvania debate

The Clinton-Obama debate before the Pennsylvania Primary brought criticism of ABC moderators Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos for asking too many questions about why the candidates didn’t wear American-flag lapel pins or the meaning of various quotes.

Critics point out that Gibson and Stephanopoulos asked questions about such symbols for about an hour before getting to questions about Iraq or taxes or health care.

That’s fine.

It’s fine for two reasons.

First, there’s very little difference between the two candidates on economics or health care or the War.

Second, more people vote on a candidate’s personal qualities than on his or her stands on issues. For example, in the general election four years ago, probably more people agreed with John Kerry on issues than they did with George W. Bush, but they couldn’t identify with what they considered Kerry’s elitist nature.

Evan Smith is the Enterprise Forum editor. Send comments to entopinion@heraldnet.com

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