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North Central High School student reporter raises questions about candidate

Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 04, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS – An article written by a student journalist at North Central High School is getting a lot of attention and raising questions about a specific Washington Township school board candidate.

Senior Adam McGoff published an article titled, “Candidate without district ties seeks school board seat” that mentioned candidate Deitric Hall.

The candidate has used $31,000 in campaign funds to send mailers throughout the district. Initially Hall said the money came from teachers but he later admitted it came from the Leadership for Educational Equity Political Action Committee based in Washington D.C. The committee is part of the Teach for America campaign.

Deitric Hall is a Teacher America alumnus, but Teacher America does not participate in political or campaign activities.

“The speculation is that Teach America was using him to find a school board race that was easiest to find a seat on especially for an unknown candidate like himself,” said McGoff.

McGoff isn't the only one who thinks that. Kristina Frey, president of the Washington Township Parent Council Network agrees.

"Right now we are only worried about one seat.  But we have two more seats up in two years,” said Frey.  “So if this candidate were to win.  I fully expect that these outside organizations would come back with even more money and try to take the majority two years from now.”

John Fencl, Hall’s opponent, is a CPA and a parent of a seventh grader and eighth grader who attend Eastwood Middle School. He said the money’s source is a concern.

“I don't have a specific agenda.  I'm not trying to do X or Y. I just want to support the kids in the district and provide a quality education,” he said.

An on-camera interview with Hall was requested, but a response was not given.

Hall did tell McGoff, “I think that not necessarily being and growing up in Washington Township uniquely qualifies me because I have been walking and talking to neighbors through the district and really kind of getting a feel for what issues parents are concerned about.”

McGoff said the candidate was unable to name any district elementary schools.

“Of all things you'd think he'd be able to name is the school you'd be serving.  And (he) openly talked to me about how he had not visited any of the schools,” he said.