Puyallup tribal members walk out of school meeting

Members of the Puyallup Tribe of Washington walked out of a school board meeting on Tuesday night after a decision to name a school after their late chief was delayed.

Tribal members have been lobbying the Federal Way School Board to name a new middle school for Robert Satiacum, a controversial tribal leader who died in 1991. He had been convicted of racketeering, embezzlement and child molestation but supporters say the charges were fraudulent.

The board was also being pressured to name the school after Patrick Maher, a police officer killed in the line of duty. However, Maher is not Native, so he may not qualify under guidelines for naming schools.

But rather than make a decision, the board voted 3-2 to come up with a new list of names and then ask students for approval. The move prompted board member Earl VanDorien to resign and walk out. He was followed by about 30 tribal members.

Get the Story:
Turmoil as board puts off naming of school (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 4/13)
Students will name new Federal Way school (The Seattle Times 4/13)

Related Stories:
Column: Readers split on naming school for chief (03/30)
Column: Should school be named for late chief? (3/25)
Tribal members want school named for late chief (3/23)