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Players Punished For Burning Totem Pole

Seven Issaquah High School football players have been pulling weeds around the school as punishment for their roles in stealing and burning an Indian story pole.

The seven also could face criminal charges.

The six seniors and one junior started their school-imposed punishment over the weekend. They pulled weeds around the school and cleaned the stadium area.

Their next task in the required 15 to 30 hours of community service is to scrape gum and wash walls around the school, said Mary Waggoner, Issaquah school spokeswoman.

The seven also have been suspended from playing football for at least two games.

On Monday, the students called Snoqualmie tribal leaders to set up a time to apologize for the theft and destruction of the 250-pound “Man-Who-Eats-Lots-of-Fish” story pole.

The carved pole was stolen Sept. 23 from a picnic shelter at Beaver Lake Park on the Sammamish plateau. Issaquah students burned it the next night during an off-campus pep rally before a football game against the Sammamish High School Totems, police said.

King County police will recommend that county prosecutors file felony first-degree theft charges against six players and a charge of possession of stolen property against the seventh student. Police also will recommend that all seven be charged with malicious mischief, police spokeswoman Joanne Elledge said.

A decision on what charges, if any, will be filed could be made later this week, said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office.

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