News 8 Investigates: Principal surrenders his license, will not appeal misconduct case
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. (WKBT) — A former Prairie du Chien principal is no longer appealing a state case, which could have led to his license being revoked. Instead, former Bluff View Intermediate School Principal Aaron Amundson surrendered his lifetime license.
Amundson was accused of nine counts of misconduct by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. That included alleged child abuse for using a chemical spray on a student, putting his hands around a student’s “neck in a hard grip” and dragging a student with a disability by her ankle.
While Amundson initially denied the allegations outlined in the latest state investigation, his lifetime license was voluntarily surrendered at the end of June.
However, he could reapply for another license in the future. A department spokesperson said any applicant who previously surrendered their license would have to prove the reasons that prompted the termination of the license are no longer concerns.
When a license is surrendered, the DPI reports it to a national database through the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification. That could prevent him from working in a school elsewhere.
In a statement, the department said it would check that resource if someone from out of state applied for a license.
“In Wisconsin, when someone applies from out of state, we check that national database for any red flags,” said Benson Gardner, communications officer for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
News 8 posed that same question to Dr. Tony Kinkel, the executive director of the Minnesota Board of School Administrators. He said that whenever someone applies for a license in Minnesota, officials conduct a background check and the applicant is asked if they have ever voluntarily surrendered a license.
“Have you ever had an education or other occupational license revoked, suspended or denied in Minnesota or in another state?” reads the form from the Minnesota Department of Education.
That information goes to an ethics committee, which would decide if a license would be issued. If someone were to lie about previous misconduct investigations, Kinkel said the Minnesota license would be suspended or revoked.
For now, a search of online databases shows Amundson only had an administrator’s license in Wisconsin, which has now been surrendered.
Amundson resigned from his position at Bluff View Intermediate School in April. But the legal troubles for the district will continue because of Amundson’s alleged misconduct.
One of the families is suing because they say their child’s injuries were caused by the negligence of the district and/or its employees. The next hearing is scheduled for November.
News 8 attempted to contact Amundson and his attorney for comment but voicemails left with his attorney were not returned.
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