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Students protest use of Channel One

Published Oct. 18, 2005

Channel One, the news network for students, already has received mixed reviews for running commercials. Now students at a high school here have staged a boycott against it because of its content. "Students feel Channel One is just another kid show, a senior high Sesame Street," says Fargo North High School Principal Ed Raymond.

"There are only 2{ minutes of hard news," says senior Jared Eide. "You get more out of reading the newspaper headlines."

Some 600 Fargo North students took part in the two-day boycott of Channel One last month by refusing to go to the classes showing the newscast. The following week, dozens took their concerns to the Fargo School Board. The matter was referred to a three-member curriculum committee, which is to make its recommendations Tuesday.

Channel One has been controversial since Whittle Communications announced its plan to provide free video equipment to schools that agreed to air the daily television news program, with two minutes of commercials wedged in each 10-minute program.

Gary Belis, a spokesman for Whittle Communications says Fargo North High School is an aberration.

Raymond says the school, which has 850 students, needs the satellite dish, central control panel and 36 video monitors Whittle provides.