Restraining Order Issued Preventing Release Of Skit Video - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/21/06-Tyler

Restraining Order Issued Preventing Release Of Skit Video

  The plaintiffs in this injunction: Bell second grade teacher Wendie Short, who resigned, and Christina Jontra who was fired. The court documents were successfully filed just after two this afternoon.
  So instead of issuing the tape TISD was forced to give this statement. "We will comply with the temporary restraining order until a decision is made," says Katherine Erickson, Director Of Communication for TISD.
  In the injunction, Short and Jontra claim they will suffer irraparable injury, loss or damage if this tape is made public. It also claims the tape is not public record because it was given to the Teacher of the Year, therefore the district doesn't own it. TISD disagrees.
  "This tape was made on school district equipment. It was in possession of the school. After receiving an anonymous complaint, we knew the tape was available and requested it to review the skit. It is in our possession and we are a government entity. The information we have whether it's videotape or a printed document is public information," says Erickson.
  At last night's school board meeting, some members of the public expressed to the board they have a right to see the video recording of the skit.
  "Obviously it must be pretty bad if someone blocked it. If you hadn't done anything wrong and want your job back, prove that you didn't do something wrong and release the tape," says Bell Elementary Parent Malcolm Jackson.
  "I would like to see it because I believe this has been blown way out of proportion," says Penny Phillips, whose son is the class of one of the teachers' involved.
  Concerned citizen, Darrell Guthrie adds, "We're all TISD taxpaying citizens here and this involves all of us and the community as a whole, we want to see the tape." That now is up to a judge.
  We also learned from the injunction other facts about this controversial skit. It was loosely based on the reality show "wife swap", with one teacher portraying an African-American teacher that apparently swapped schools with another. The injunction is only temporary. Both sides will get to present their cases before a judge in 10 days. It's another wait and see game.

Christine Nelson, reporting. 

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