News 8 Investigates: Principal could have license revoked following investigation
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. (WKBT) — A middle school principal who was previously found not guilty of abusing a student could have his administrator’s license revoked. According to a notice from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the state superintendent intends to revoke Aaron Amundson’s administrator’s license unless he appeals.
The notice of probable cause and intent to revoke document from the Department of Public Instruction details nine counts of immoral conduct while Amundson was employed by the Prairie du Chien Area School District.
Count one is based on the child abuse case allegedly involving Amundson during the 2017-18 school year. He was accused of using a chemical and scouring pad to remove writing on a student’s hand but was found not guilty by a jury in August.
The second count is for false information on a DPI license application. In a 2016 license application, Amundson said he had never been disciplined for immoral conduct or alleged misconduct, but he had been on multiple occasions.
Then there was an incident when Amundson served as the high school football coach during the 2016-17 school year. The document said he grabbed a student’s facemask and pulled down forcefully.
The fourth count is for the physical assault or unreasonable force of a student on the wrestling team during the 1999-2000 school year. Amundson allegedly put his hands around the student’s neck, started to raise the student out of his chair and told the sophomore to “shut your f****** mouth.”
Count five is for a threat directed at students during a field trip in December of 2015. When asked by a student where to line up, Amundson allegedly yelled, “God help me if you have to ask me what line you’re in, I am going to kill ya.”
The sixth count is for grabbing a student by the arms and legs and carrying him down the hallway with another teacher during the 2008-09 school year.
Count seven said Amundson grabbed a student with special needs by the ankle and dragged her down the hallway. The student was screaming and reaching out for help while the incident was happening. The eighth count alleges that Amundson grabbed that same student during an assembly, threw the student over his shoulder and carried her out to the administrative office.
The final count against Amundson in the notice is for bullying, harassing and degrading students over multiple years. That includes asking a student, “what’s your problem” and telling the student to “stand the f*** up.” He then yelled at the child until he began to cry.
In conclusion, the Department of Public Instruction says it intends to revoke his license. That would mean all rights and privileges associated with a license would be terminated.
This does not mean that this is a final decision. The school district confirms Amundson will remain in his position until a final decision is received.
The principal could contest the notice and request a hearing from the DPI. If he does not request a hearing within the alloted time, the state superintendent will revoke his license without a hearing based on the charges in the document. If an appeal is filed, the state superintendent will schedule a public hearing.
News 8 attempted to contact Amundson to respond to these allegations in the file, but he did not reply to these requests. Superintendent Robert Smudde gave the following statement to News 8 about the notice:
The Prairie du Chien Area School District has been informed that the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has completed its investigation and found probable cause to pursue the hearing for the possible revocation of Mr. Amundson’s Educator License.
To this end, the District is confident in its course of action absent any other allegation(s) being brought forth against Mr. Amundson, and has been compliant and fully cooperative with DPI throughout this process. It should also be noted that this is not a final determination . Mr. Amundson may request an administrative hearing to challenge this determination.
Mr. Amundson has a valid educator license at this time. Mr. Amundson’s license will continue to be valid unless a final decision and order is issued to revoke the license.
Prairie du Chien Area School District has been informed by DPI that the District is not a “party” to this matter. However, the District does have an interest in this matter and its potential implications as it directly affects Mr. Amundson, the staff and students at Bluff View Intermediate Schools. As always, we will continue to keep the needs of our students at the front of our decisions in regards to this situation.
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