Prairie du Chien principal placed on disciplinary leave
Bluff View Principal Aaron Amundson has been placed on non-disciplinary paid leave for two days and another five days of unpaid disciplinary leave for using “highly unacceptable language” towards students.
Prairie du Chien District Administrator Drew Johnson said complaints were filed against Amundson for an incident that allegedly happened on the last day of school before the holiday break, December 23. Johnson said the matter referred to Amundson allegedly using the word “kill” in the context of being frustrated with students.
In a letter, Amundson, who has been at Bluff View for seven years, admitted to using “unprofessional language that has caused anxiety in some children and parents.”
A parent who filed a complaint against Amundson was told by his daughter that while lining up for the merit party, kids asked what line to get in for the bus. Mr. Amundson replied, “God help me if you have to ask me what line you’re in, I am going to kill ya.”
When talking to Johnson about the alleged incident, Amundson said he didn’t remember saying it, but has been told by the parent and a police officer that he said “if I have to explain myself one more time, I might have to kill somebody.” Amundson said he did remember calling the middle school students “idiots” during an all-school event.
“To those who are upset, I am disappointed with the words I used to address the students on 12/23/14,” Amundson wrote in a letter. “I made a mistake, and for that I sincerely apologize.”
“It is evident to me that Mr. Amundson did use the highly unacceptable language brought forth by the complaints of the parents,” Johnson said. “However, after interviewing Mr. Amundson, I am equally convinced that he did so out of frustration and agitation and that there was never any intent by Mr. Amundson to harm students or put student safety at risk.”
Regardless, Johnson said Amundson’s statements violate the standards and expectations established by the school district. During his non-paid disciplinary leave for five days, Amundson will have no contact with any students and will be banned from being on school grounds. Johnson said Amundson has also been put on notice “that engaging in any inappropriate verbal communication with students, parents, citizens, or employees, regardless of whether the result of legitimate frustration or agitation, will simply no longer be tolerated and may result in my recommendation to the Board that his contract either be terminated or non-renewed.”
Click here to read the entire letter from Amundson.
A group of concerned citizens has since launched an online petition to ‘compel the termination or resignation of Aaron Amundson.’
This isn’t the first time Amundson has been reprimanded for using ‘inappropriate language.’ In March 2013, Johnson issued a disciplinary letter of reprimand to Amundson for an inappropriate email message he sent to staff.
He has also been the subject of two main complaints that were investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction under ‘seclusion and restraint’ issues; both required a corrective action plan.
The Prairie du Chien Police Department is investigating a separate complaint it received on this latest matter.