Bluff View School principal placed on leave

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By Ted Pennekamp and Correne Martin

 

Bluff View Intermediate School Principal Aaron Amundson has been placed on paid leave in the wake of complaints by parents to the Prairie du Chien School District alleging inappropriate behavior by Amundson.

“Per the district policy on parental complaints, there is an investigation in process,” said District Administrator Drew Johnson. “Mr. Amundson has been placed on a non-disciplinary leave of absence starting Monday, Jan. 5 to allow for bringing the investigation to a closure. It is expected that the internal investigation will be completed on Jan. 6.” Johnson said the outcome of the process is not yet available.

Several parents are circulating a petition calling for Amundson’s resignation or termination as principal. The parents allege that, on Dec. 23, there were numerous students in fifth through eighth grades gathered in the gymnasium because they were getting ready to go to a movie. The parents said some students were confused and began asking several questions. In the text of the petition, the parents allege that Amundson became angry and called some students idiots, morons and stupid. The parents further allege that Amundson verbally threatened some students by saying that anyone who was not following guidance or continued to ask unwarranted questions would be killed. 

“Principal Amundson made this statement in an intimidating manner in a moment of anger,” part of the petition states. “This incident in and of itself is in clear violation of the zero percent tolerance policy enforced by Bluff View Middle School staff regarding bullying.”

The petition further states, “We the undersigned feel that his actions on Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014 are unethical, unprofessional and simply unacceptable in the educating and care of our students.”

A regular meeting of the Prairie du Chien School Board has been scheduled for Monday, Jan. 12 in city hall. Administrator Johnson said that there has been no item added to the agenda regarding Amundson. Johnson said it is possible such an item could be added to the agenda for Jan. 12 or on the agenda of a future meeting.

School Board member Kyle Kozelka said he has been contacted by several parents regarding Amundson. 

“I am going to let the process take its course,” said Kozelka.

Parent Bethany Iverson said some parents have contacted the Prairie du Chien Police Department and Child Protective Services about the alleged incident. Iverson also created the petition on Jan. 6 that is being circulated via hard copy and on Change.org. As of press time, there were 146 signatures.

“We want not only parents to sign it but also future parents, grandparents and supporters of the school who want to keep our kids safe,” Iverson

said. “This is not the first time something like this has happened with him. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and that’s why this needs to be taken care of now.”

Iverson said that if there is a meeting regarding Amundson, she encourages the public to attend and express their opinions or concerns.

Amundson has been with the school district since 1997 and has been principal of Bluff View since 2010.

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