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Why'd we bury the Mr. Thompson story?
When I saw that the Kitsap Sun had put the story of Mr. Thompson’s acquittal on the front page, I was delighted. Not only was this the end of a long, pain filled road for the Thompson family; his innocence was also getting the publicity it deserved. The Kitsap Sun obviously believes a teacher from North Kitsap High School deserves to have the news spread that he is innocent. If this story was making headline news for all of Kitsap County, imagine my excitement to see what kind of fanfare the North Kitsap Herald would bring up. When I got the Oct. 9 edition of the North Kitsap Herald, I was a bit surprised to see a lighthouse on the front page, not my former ninth-grade science teacher. I began flipping through pages, past a pumpkin, past the Scene & Heard, through a Homecoming insert, until I got to page A17. “NK teacher acquitted.” No fanfare. No great title. Not even a picture. The first line reads “William R. Thompson, the 2006 North Kitsap teacher of the year acquitted by a jury Monday …” The North Kitsap Herald put North Kitsap’s favorite teacher on page A17, to declare that he is in fact an OK guy. The staff, the students, and the community all love Mr. Thompson. Support for him, during this awful time in his life, emanated through North Kitsap like a light in a dark room. It wasn’t so different from the kind of light he brought into his classroom every day. He wasn’t just a teacher; he made learning worth the time. He made school more than merely the mandated chore it so often feels like. He really does care about his students — former, and current. He is interested in their lives, and watches the newspaper to see if any of them get in it. Mr. Thompson was on a mission to be the best influence to a ninth-grader that a science teacher could possibly be. He had already had a successful career in the Navy; teaching for him was frosting on the cake, something that he wanted to do. That was stolen from him, and it left a scar. The community newspaper is supposed to represent the news and interests of the community. We’ve shown our support for Mr. Bill Thompson and I ask, North Kitsap Herald, where is yours? Oh, that’s right, page A17. Tyler Rencher Former Student, Mr. Thompson Senior, North Kitsap High School