The paper's adviser, Val Schroeder, who reportedly approved the story by staff writer Liz Davis, faces disciplinary action, according to Stanwood School District Superintendent Raymond Reid.
"An article like this has no place in a high school paper, especially in a farming community," Reid told E&P. "There are plenty of other things to write about. Many of our students live on farms. It was irresponsible to let that be printed."
Reid said faculty and students were "very upset" about the story.
So was the school board and the town itself, a school district employee said in an interview.
"A lot of people didn't like the article at all," she said.
Davis's piece in the Spartan Spectrum, headed "How many of you out there live on a farm?" claimed that a fifth of farm boys engaged in bestiality. Readers were asked their opinion of the practice, which further enraged many people in the community of 4,000 people 60 miles north of Seattle.
The story quoted statistics supposedly gathered by sex researcher Wardell B. Pomeroy who, in the late 1940s, collaborated with Alfred Kinsey on his famous study of sexuality. Pomeroy, the story stated, reported that his research indicated that about one in five boys who live on farms regularly had sex with animals.
Students were asked if they considered such behavior immoral. The Seattle Times reported that one student thought it was "disgusting" while another said, "I don't believe it's morally wrong because I read it in a book that is 2,000 years old."
At a school board meeting on the issue, a parent read the story aloud and said he was "saddened" by its publication.
Schroeder, who could not be reached for comment, teaches English in the high school, in addition to her advisement duties.
Reid said that Davis would not be punished but that Schroeder would likely be disciplined by the school board. "And since I am responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school district, I will play a role" in whatever action is taken against Schroeder, he added.
By: M.L. Stein HIGH SCHOOL newspaper's story about farm boys having sex with animals has stirred an uproar in the small farming community of Stanwood, Wash.