Second Injunction Prevents Release Of Controversial Skit Video - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/3/06-Tyler

Second Injunction Prevents Release Of Controversial Skit Video

    A second injunction was signed Tuesday morning, commanding Tyler Independent School District to "desist and refrain" from displaying or releasing the taped teacher's skit until a trial. A win for Wendie Short and Christina Jontra, the two Bell Elementary school teachers fighting the tape's release to the public.
  19 pages worth of documents summarize much of what both sides are arguing. Wendie Short and Christina Jontra's attorneys say the defendant, TISD, "has not previously maintained the tapes of the Teacher of the Year skits, or asserted any ownership interest or right to the tape" in years past.
  Attorneys went as far as citing new arguments of copyright violations saying, "plaintiffs claim a copyright in their performance and are clearly the owners of such a copyright under federal law... The school district is not authorized by the Open Records Act to copy copyrighted material."
  Both teachers' signatures could be seen on the court documents, verifying today's arguments. The teachers themselves were both no-shows, their attorneys blaming the media spectacle for their deliberate absence.
  "You're looking at it," says attorney Richard Arnett pointing to the television cameras. "I see no benefit to anybody in this community from continuing to fan these flames."
  TISD's rebuttal to the petition was that "it intended to allow the release of the contents of the tape to the public under valid requests made by the media. It understands that the release of the tape would be embarrassing to the plaintiffs... as well as an embarrassment to the Tyler Independent School District."
  So TISD is abiding by the injunction until an official ruling otherwise. "We will release them as soon as the injunction is over. We've been told that it will be June 28th when a decision will be made," says TISD Director of Communications Katherine Erickson.
  The June 28th trial date is considered a final injunction hearing.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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