» This Story:Read +| Comments

Remorse, Detention for Snow-Day Caller

Discussion Policy
Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 26, 2008; Page B01

High school senior Devraj "Dave" S. Kori, who may be remembered someday as the Fairfax County champion of the snow day, will spend a Saturday in detention at Lake Braddock Secondary School for the phone call that started it all.

This Story
View All Items in This Story
View Only Top Items in This Story

The school principal disciplined the 17-year-old for using his cellphone to call an administrator's home last week during his lunch break to ask why school had not been called off because of snow, Kori said. Fairfax schools prohibit cellphone use on campus during the school day.

Kori said yesterday that he has done some soul-searching about the storm he set off when he posted online the scathing voice-mail reply he received from the wife of school system chief operating officer Dean Tistadt.

The message from Candy Tistadt berated Kori for using the home number and told him to "Get over it, kid, and go to school!" Kori posted an audio link to his Facebook page, and a friend uploaded the message on YouTube. Within days, it was played tens of thousands of times on the Web and aired on national news.

Yesterday, Kori said he regrets posting the message.

"I'm sorry that this led to such embarrassment and harassment" for the Tistadt family, Kori said. He said he's also sorry that "this whole thing has shifted away from the issue of students not having a voice," a cause he said inspired him to doggedly pursue the administrator in the first place.

Wednesday afternoon, Kori asked his friend to take the recording off YouTube, where it had drawn more than 20,000 hits. "Having it up there wasn't helping anybody, it was only hurting somebody," he said.

As of yesterday afternoon, the teenager had not taken down his Facebook page, which still hosts links to animated images paired with the recording that were posted by other people.

Dean Tistadt said he was "encouraged" to hear that Kori was apologetic. He said that the past few days have been "very unpleasant" for his family.

The Tistadts have been deluged by hostile e-mails and crank calls. They called police to investigate some that were threatening. For two days, reporters hovered around their lawn. "You feel violated," he said.

There will be "no apologies out of my family," Tistadt said.

He reasoned that while Kori's decision to post the message was "deliberately intended to provoke and taunt," his wife's response was emotionally driven.

"There is a heightened sensitivity on the part of my wife and children, who see the stress I'm under," said Tistadt, who has been making snow-day decisions for nine years, and who also oversees highly controversial school boundary studies.

Tistadt said he reluctantly changed his telephone to an unlisted number.

"I resent frankly that I can't rely on the civility of the community to guarantee my privacy," he said.


» This Story:Read +| Comments

More from Virginia

[The Presidential Field]

Blog: Virginia Politics

Here's a place to help you keep up with Virginia's overcaffeinated political culture.

Local Blog Directory

Find a Local Blog

Plug into the region's blogs, by location or area of interest.

FOLLOW METRO ON:
Facebook Twitter RSS
|
GET LOCAL ALERTS:
© 2008 The Washington Post Company