Pubdate: Wed, 26 Jan 2005
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 The Province
Author: Ian Austin
Bookmark: (Youth)


Blaine Educator Is Now On Leave And Will Be In Court Feb. 4

A high school principal in Blaine, Wash., has been implicated in a bizarre 
B.C.-bud smuggling operation that allegedly used schoolkids as cross-border 

Daniel Newell, principal of Blaine High School, allegedly phoned the mother 
of a 16-year-old schoolgirl to alert her to a police investigation into 
smuggling aboard the Point Roberts-to-Blaine schoolbus.

Newell, who was placed on paid administrative leave yesterday, was charged 
Monday with rendering criminal assistance and obstructing a law enforcement 
officer. He faces as much as one year in jail and a $5,000 fine on each charge.

In a letter sent to Blaine High parents yesterday, Blaine School District 
Superintendent Mary Lynne Derrington wrote:

"I assure you that Blaine School District makes every effort at all times 
to co-operate with law enforcement. While we do not presume guilt or 
innocence, at this time Mr. Newell has been placed on paid administrative 

"Throughout all of this, the priority of the school board and district 
staff continues to be the safety and education of your children."

Newell allegedly phoned school board member Deborah Hart to alert her of 
her daughter's predicament.

"I do not then, nor do I now, feel that his actions were inappropriate in 
any way whatsoever," said Hart, who pulled her daughter out of Blaine High 
and enrolled her in another school.

"She's doing very well. The whole situation gave her her life back.

"As far as I can see, this is a situation of 'no good deed goes unpunished.'"

Point Roberts is a geographic anomaly. When the 49th parallel was 
established as the U.S. -- Canada boundary, the tiny, cutoff peninsula 
south of Tsawwassen was declared U.S. territory.

Because there are no high schools in Point Roberts, students are bused each 
day over the border into Tsawwassen, then over the border to Blaine, making 
the return trip after school.

When a Blaine High School student was arrested for carrying B.C. bud across 
the Peace Arch border crossing last spring, Newell told The Province: "From 
a father's standpoint, I have four sons. From a principal's standpoint, I 
have 700 kids under my tutelage. It breaks my heart to see that anybody 
would take advantage of our young adolescents."

Newell, Blaine High's principal since 1990, is scheduled to appear in court 
Feb. 4.
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