Quartzsite, Arizona- Today a video was released by a local high school student revealing yesterday's steamy embrace between Scholars' Academy Principal/President Steve McClenning and Business Manager/Secretary Billie "BJ" Madewell. The extracurricular activities evidently took place in a classroom during school hours, while students studied in the next room. According to the mother of the student videographer, the kids found out about it "totally by accident when two boys reached for a ball on the floor. There was a hole in the wall and they noticed movement in the classroom next door, which should have been empty." The mother told Desert Messenger that at one point or another all the students were watching the couple.
The steamy 2-1/2 minute video shows the couple kissing and embracing passionately. Both were fully clothed in the short video. The video was posted to youTube.com for a short while this afternoon before being pulled with this message: "This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube's policy on nudity or sexual content."
According to the mother of the student, some teachers were told of the incident, but they "didn't want to hear about it." At least two students received text messages from Madewell asking any photos or videos be deleted. This afternoon, the video was emailed to Desert Messenger. Then a text message with a photo attached was received. Shortly thereafter, an email from firstname.lastname@example.org was received, which included multiple news agencies.
Desert Messenger reached out to Madewell who asked that the video not be put out on the Internet. "I've been violated also. This is our personal lives that we just took into a public place."
Mr. McClenning responded to Desert Messenger's phone call, however the connection was lost before comments were made, but McClenning said he would email comments. As of this evening, no email had been received.
The concerned mother filed a police report with Quartzsite Police Department (QPD), along with the video, however Madewell said, "QPD explained it was not a criminal matter."
The Scholars' Academy has been under the microscope recently due to the denial of their contract from the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools. The school appealed and the hearing is scheduled next month. Declining test scores, financial issues, and internal challenges were sited as reasons for the denial.
On another note, the Scholars' Academy is scheduled to go before the Quartzsite Town Council next Tuesday, seeking a renewal of their 2012-2013 lease from the Town.
The videographer's mother said, "This is unethical, disgusting, and absolutely irresponsible. These types of actions are NOT tolerable. These people are supposed to be professional leaders of our community and the school in which they work. They are role models for the children that attend our schools."
The statement above could be said for Mark Orgeron, Head Teacher of Quartzsite Elementary School and current council candidate, whose Facebook comment of "Corrupting Arizona's students one child at a time" was the focus of an article in April 4th issue of Desert Messenger. Shortly after the article brought attention to Mr. Orgeron, he proceeded to transport a female elementary student, alone in his vehicle, 20 miles to and from a school board meeting, at night. According to a witness, Orgeron was apparently seen on Wednesday stopping the same student walking after school and the girl proceeded to step into his vehicle. According to school policies, teachers are only allowed to transport students in a district vehicle.
According to multiple reliable sources, Madewell was also a former favorite student of Mr. McClenning. Both are adults now and are married, but not to each other.
Indeed, teachers are role models for our children and are held to a higher standard.
Crystal Cruz of AZFamily.com, Phoenix television Channel 3, visited Quartzsite Thursday afternoon. Cruz interviewed a group of parents and students. The news was the top story at 4:30pm and 5:30pm broadcast live from Quartzsite.
By 7:30pm Steve Kuzj of ABC News 15 out of Phoenix also visited with local residents. His report aired at 10:00pm last night. As of this afternoon, the story is top news on MSNBC.com and HuffingtonPost.com.