Ethics Data Online - Articles

"About This Project: How we did it"
Christine Willmsen and Maureen O'Hagan, Seattle Times staff reporters
Sunday, December 14-17, 2003

Two Seattle Times staff reporters spent a year investigating the sexual misconduct of Washington coaches. They interviewed more than 260 people, including coaches, athletes, students, administrators, educators and experts. The reporters filed more than 110 public-records requests, including requests to 10 of the largest school districts, for information on coaches and teachers accused of misconduct. These districts employ roughly one-quarter of the state's teachers.

The newspaper fought legal battles in four counties to obtain records from school districts. Times reporters, including Justin Mayo, constructed a database to investigate coaches using the following: state superintendent disciplinary records since 1992; rosters of certified teachers; statewide dockets of civil and criminal cases; and an AAU directory of coaches for Western Washington. Mayo provided much of the analysis. Reporters also obtained police, criminal and civil court records from nearly all the state's 39 counties.

Contributors to the series also include Cheryl Morningstar, Elizabeth Ridgeway, Ray Rivera, Ian Ith and Miyoko Wolf.