Bush School Coach Accused of Child Voyeurism

Jason Paur

Jason Paur

Disturbing news from Bush School just down the hill from Madrona.  Jason Paur, a coach, substitute teacher, and guest lecturer at Bush since 1998, was a chaperone to a school cross-country ski trip to Canada.  He was arrested on the trip when female students found a spy camera allegedly owned by Paur in their room and reported it to another chaperone.  Bush School and the local police were immediately notified which led to the arrest.  To find out more about this incident, including a link to the television report, click the link to Q13 Fox News.

Following is the letter sent from Busch to the parents:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Every year at this time, a group of students and chaperones take part in a week-long cross-country ski trip to Silver Star ski resort in southern British Columbia. I am writing to relate to you an incident that occurred during the trip that has led us to bring our students home earlier than planned. All of the students are safe, and we have been acting promptly and appropriately to address the incident and its consequences.

Early yesterday evening, I received a report from one of the Silver Star chaperones.  Two students had reported to him that another group of students had discovered a personal camera in their room that was making a video recording of the room. It turned out that the owner of the camera was one of the other chaperones, Jason Paur, who admitted he had placed the camera in the room. We removed Mr. Paur from the group and shared with all of the students what had happened. While the students were troubled by the information, they were reassured that the students who had reported the incident had done the right thing. Subsequently, the chaperones contacted the local police who began an investigation of the incident and interviewed some of the students. I learned this morning that after the initial investigation, the police arrested Paur and are holding him in jail in Vernon, B.C. pending further investigation of the incident. At this point, the camera and video recording are in the possession of the local police, and we do not know the specific contents of the recording.

Paur has been a popular, long-time coach of the Upper School cross-country ski team. He also has coached Upper School cross-country running and served as a substitute teacher and from time to time as a guest lecturer in journalism in various classes. We had no reason to be concerned about Paur’s work with students, so we were shocked and surprised by the reports regarding this incident.

Last night, we spoke with the parents of all of the students on the trip to inform them of what had happened. We decided to end the trip early, and the students are returning to Seattle today. We plan to meet with the students and their parents when the group arrives this evening.

We will be sharing information about this incident with Upper School students today, meeting specifically with members of the cross-country ski team who did not go on the trip to help them process the information. Our counseling staff will be available to all students in the coming days to help those who are particularly troubled by the incident. If you become worried about your child with regard to this incident, please don’t hesitate to contact John Ganz, Upper School counselor, or Kim Jackson-Butler, Lower and Middle School counselor.

This is a disturbing and upsetting incident for me and all of us here at Bush, I am proud of the way the Silver Star students and chaperones have handled the situation. As I get further information about the incident, I will keep you informed.


What a Joke! Audit Rubber Stamps Seattle School Sale

Seattle Public SchoolsThis is old news and something I have not really commented on in the past, but now that a state audit has just rubber stamped the sale of Martin Luther King Elementary School to the lowest bidder, First African Methodist Episcopal Church (First AME),  this complete and utter bad joke has come up once again.  The audit finds that the Seattle Public Schools followed state law and district policy, but unfortunately the state did not audit for common sense.  At a time when government has no money, they took the lowest bid from a religious group that got their money for the purchase of the school from the state.  So Seattle Public Schools took money from the taxpayers of Washington State and in the process basically gave the former school to a  religious organization.   No complaints about separation of church and state?

What about key players working for the Seattle School District either being fired, charged with felony theft, and/or coming under heavy scrutiny for work related scandals.   Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson was fired early this year over a financial scandal, former Seattle Public Schools official Silas Potter Jr. has just been charged with felony theft for alleging taking $250,000 from the schools, and Potter’s direct supervisor and a member of First AME (who won the bid for the school), Fred Stephens, has come under heavy scrutiny for his management that contributed to the scandal.

The state audit found that there was a valid market-value appraisal of the Martin Luther King School and First AME paid within 90% of that value, that Fred Stephens and his affiliate with First AME had no influence on the decision to pick their bid over the other bids that were up to 4 times as much, and that they had open, public process when making the decision.   My questions are these: If you got an appraisal of your home for $250,000 and someone offers you a $1,000,000 the next day, would you think that appraisal was worth the paper it was printed on?  Do you believe that Fred Stephens affiliation with First AME had ZERO influence on the decision to take a quarter of the money offered by another party?  Are public forums worth anything if the decision has previously been made no matter what the public says?

Yes the state audit is probably right, nothing illegal was done in this transaction that can be documented.  The Seattle Public Schools legally stole money from the taxpayers and there is nothing you can do about it.