Skiatook High School students rally for recovery

Friday, September 29th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SKIATOOK, Okla. (AP) -- Shaken by allegations that a former basketball coach hid a video camera in a locker that filmed girls changing clothes, students at Skiatook High School prayed for healing and recovery in a prayer rally Thursday.

About 150 to 200 students held hands quietly and formed a circle around the school's flagpole, joined by teachers, parents, counselors and ministers.

Students said it was a step toward recovery following the resignation of former girls' basketball coach Harry Red Eagle Jr., who faces six felony charges for the alleged camera placement.

Red Eagle could be seen in the video looking into the camera, which was inside a locker.

The videotape shows five girls changing clothes and was aired on a local news station in August.

Two other teachers, Garry Ferguson and Dennis Curtis, have been suspended for their alleged involvement in giving the tape to the media.

Both are awaiting due-process hearings.

Skiatook Superintendent Harry Red Eagle Sr., father of the accused coach, recommended to the school board that Ferguson and Curtis be fired.

The rally was a positive and public way to show support for Ferguson and Curtis, students said.

Senior Mac Maddox said a prayer asking for the community, students and school to band together for healing.

"There are a lot of things going on that we don't understand,"

Maddox prayed, "but we know you are in control, Father."

Senior Josh Basore, who was instrumental in organizing the rally, told the crowd: "We can lead this community as students by working with parents, students, community leaders and ministers.

... That's really where the healing begins."

Ryan Phillips, a senior, urged that students and the community take what is seen as a negative and see the good that comes from it.

Brent McClure, a local youth pastor at who counseled students at the high school Wednesday and Thursday, said the vast majority of them are handling the situation well.

"Their trust has been betrayed once," he said, "Now they're trying to figure who they can trust."