A principal charged with encouraging her daughter to secretly videotape conversations inside a high school locker room could face up to 20 years in prison and a $20,000 if convicted of the crime. Wendee Long, principal of Wayside Middle School in Fort Worth, Texas, turned herself over to authorities on Monday. She was soon released after posting a $25,000 bond, according to MSNBC.
The charges stem from Long's suggestion that her daughter hide a cell phone in a locker room during an away game to record the actions of her basketball coach, who is rumored to be excessively hard on the team. Although Long's daughter was in the room at the time of the alleged recording, the incident is still considered to be the same as wiretapping. In addition to the investigation by Forth Worth authorities, school officials intend to look into the incident, as well.
Although such recordings are considered illegal, the principal's attorney seemed to be genuinely shocked by the charged levied against Long. "Wendee and I are both surprised and disappointed at the actions of the Denton County Grand Jury last week," Long's lawyer said in a statement on Tuesday. "Wendee maintains, and I agree, that she has not violated any law. We do not believe anything has taken place that should involve the justice system. However, now that we find ourselves in the system we are confident that Wendee will be cleared of any wrong doing."
Given that Long has been the principal at Wayside Middle School for over five years, you'd think she would realize this sort of behavior would reflect negatively on her as both a mother and a school official. The fact that she seems to stand behind her actions is a little peculiar, particularly when she's had plenty of experience working behind-the-scenes within the public school system. I'm definitely curious to see how this story unfolds.