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Talk Shows Courting Pregnant Girl Denied Homecoming Queen Crown

October 13, 1992

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) _ A school principal has resigned amid charges he tampered with a homecoming- queen election, and the pregnant girl who was denied the crown is being courted by television talk shows.

April Schuldt, 17, who is five months’ pregnant, received more than 100 votes in the Eau Claire Memorial High School homecoming election. The runner- up, Elizabeth Weld, received fewer than 70 votes but reigned at the Oct. 3-4 celebration.

The principal resigned and three assistant principals and a teacher were disciplined by the school board Monday night after an investigation found the ballots had been burned in a cover-up, Superintendent Lee Hansen said.

″What they did to me was discriminatory and wrong,″ Miss Schuldt said. ″If people in authority can do this over something as trivial as the homecoming queen title, what will they not do?″

The girl’s father said eight or nine national television programs have invited his daughter to appear.

‴Hard Copy’ was at our house for five hours Sunday,″ Richard Schuldt said. ″Requests are unending. They are fighting over her now. It is strange.″

Miss Schuldt flew to New York this week to tape an appearance on Faith Daniels’ ″A Closer Look″ television program and was scheduled to be in Boston on Thursday for ″Night Talk’ with Jane Whitney.

Miss Schuldt has dyed deep-red hair and wears mismatched clothing and black eye shadow. She said she wanted to ″show that someone different could be homecoming queen.″

The coverup came to light when a student organizer of the homecoming confided to Miss Schuldt after the ceremony that she had been the real winner. Miss Schuldt challenged the election.

Charles Zielin, principal since 1980, resigned and would not comment.

At a student assembly Tuesday, teacher Krisan Melrose and the assistant principals apologized, said Michael Burke, a lawyer for the teachers union.

Ms. Melrose said she had been suspended for 10 days, received a letter of reprimand, and lost her jobs as chairwoman of the business education department and as cheerleader advisor, Burke said.

″She said ... that her initial concern was to protect the students and Memorial,″ Burke said.

Assistant principal Charlene Gearing was placed on 15 days unpaid leave. She would not comment.Assistant principals David Morley and Brian Kersten did not answer telephone calls seeking comment.

Eau Claire is about 80 miles east of Minneapolis.

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