Two men who revealed secret locker room tapes suspended
Tuesday, September 26th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
The Skiatook school district placed two employees on suspension Tuesday as fallout over a camera put in a girls locker room continues.
The two employees, Garry Ferguson and Dennis Curtis, were two of the three people who secretly gave News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright videotapes made by that camera. Those tapes showed former Skiatook coach Harry RedEagle, Jr. putting the camcorder into the locker. It also showed middle school girls coming into the room and changing clothes.
Curtis says he learned about the locker room tapes last fall, while sharing a house with Red Eagle. He says he gave the tapes to someone for safe-keeping and when he got them back, he took them to assistant principal, Garry Ferguson.
"We looked at the tapes to see what was on them and then thought, â€˜what do we do now?â€™" said Ferguson.
The men say they talked with another teacher and say after â€œmuch soul-searchingâ€, decided to bring the tapes to the News on Six
"We gave them to you and you were going to film giving them to the DA,â€ Ferguson told Fullbright. â€œWe knew the DA would have to act on it at that point."
The News on Six did videotape turning the tapes over to law enforcement and an investigation began.
The men say they didn't believe justice would be done if they would've given the tapes to school administrators since Red Eagle's father is the school superintendent.
"A lot of people have complained about it being put on the news, but they can't guarantee to us what would've happened if we didnâ€™t,â€ said Curtis. â€œThey couldnâ€™t guarantee that it would have been handled as quickly as possible.â€
The men say they have no grudges against Red Eagle, Jr. or the superintendent. They only wanted to protect the kids who were being violated.
This is a thing that should never have happened in Skiatook,â€ said Ferguson. â€œWe feel very sorry for the girls and their parents. We know it must be a terrible, terrible thing."
Both men say they are now telling their story because they want everyone to know two things. First, they had nothing to do with making the tapes. Second, they feel it's wrong that they should be fired for trying to do the right thing.
"It would've been easy to discard the tapes, but, we just couldn't do it," said Ferguson.
"I did nothing wrong,â€ claimed Curtis. â€œWhat I did, I did for the kids and if doing stuff for kids is wrong, so be it."
Both men say despite risking their careers and the stress caused to their families, they would do it all again.