Northside Hoofbeat Farewell: The Scandal that Led to it All
By Alicja Ramotowski
The final week of the Hoofbeat, NCP’s student newspaper; a budget sinkhole and school wide crime unveiled and explained.
Students in Journalism I and II—taught by Ms. Dianne Malueg, English department— write articles and take pictures for this beloved electronic publication. The Hoofbeat has run into a few issues in the past years but has been going strong for 20 years. Unfortunately, due to a recent scandal, the time has come; the time to say goodbye. This will be the Hoofbeat’s last edition.
Everyone must be wondering why, what happened? Well, here goes.
Anyone who has taken the class knows that assignments often involve doing things outside of school, whether it is seeing a movie or going out to a play or restaurant. The journalist pays for his or her own expenses and gets reimbursed upon bringing a receipt back to school. An anonymous tip to administration prompted an investigation, and the results were shocking. For the past five years, Ms. Malueg has been cutting secret deals with students. She sent them on trips to all over the country, bought expensive and unnecessary cameras, dinners and more, putting it down as journalism fees and draining money from Northside’s bank account. In return, students paid Ms. Malueg a small cut of the price she wrote off and everyone got away satisfied with the ordeal.
It has been discovered that over the course of the past few years, Ms. Malueg has charged over $100,000 to the school’s account, creating a massive, unexplained gap in the budget. The names of the students involved have not been released to the public, but one agreed to give an anonymous comment. The student said, “Ms. Malueg would wait a few weeks into the school year until she could tell which students she could trust and then she would approach you after class with a proposal. They were good opportunities: trips to Disney World or dinners at Fogo de Chao. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for a plane, hotel, and attraction tickets, or hundreds for a family dinner, she only asked for about 10% of what it would have originally cost in return. Too good to pass up.”
Requests for comments from administration have gone unanswered. It appears that due to years of good service to the school and union protections of teachers, further charges have not been pressed. Nevertheless, as a disciplinary measure, administration has decided to terminate the Hoofbeat. The class as a whole will be removed from next year’s course selection. Students currently enrolled will be spending their 7A period doing community service around the school for the remainder of the school year; a reminder that no crime can go unpunished.
Ms. Malueg has no remorse about the situation and said, “it was a great opportunity to let students explore the world that they are kept from seeing. They spend all this time in school being drilled into the ground with tests and essays and lack perspective of the real world. Given the opportunity I would do it all again. Plus it was a great way to earn some extra pocket cash. Surviving on a teacher’s salary isn’t easy.”
So, the time has come. Maybe there will come a day when a new school newspaper will surface, an honest, lawful publication. Until that day comes, Northsiders will have to look elsewhere for news and gossip. It has been a pleasure writing for you all, and as a united Journalism class, we wish you all the best, and hope you enjoy this final edition of our beloved Northside Hoofbeat.