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By Dave Boyea

A lawsuit was filed in Chippewa County Circuit Court against the School District of Bloomer, Dr. Mary Randall, district administrator, and Josh Hartman, elementary principal, Thursday, Feb. 25.

The lawsuit filed by former district employee Jondrea Metcalf, a teacher’s aide, alleges abuse of students by co-workers, and that her contract was not renewed by the school district as retaliation for making reports about the abuse.

Metcalf was hired by the school district in July 2013, and she was informed on June 16, 2015 that the school district was not going to renew her employment beyond the 2015-16 school year.

Dr. Randall released the following statement last week:

“The School District of Bloomer is aware that former school district teacher’s aide Jondrea Metcalf recently initiated a lawsuit against the school district.”

“As of Wednesday, March 2, the district has not been formally served with a summons or complaint in the matter, and is therefore unaware of the specific allegations in this case. Ms. Metcalf’s employment ended following the 2014-15 school year because of job performance issues. These job performance issues were entirely unrelated to any actual or alleged report of threatening conduct, abuse or neglect in regard to any district student or staff member. The district denies any wrongdoing in connection with Ms. Metcalf’s employment and separation of employment, and the district will defend itself against any lawsuit that claims otherwise.”

“The School District of Bloomer’s top priority has been and will continue to be to ensure the health and safety of all district students and staff members. The district diligently investigates and responds to claims of abuse or neglect swiftly and appropriately, pursuant to district policies and procedures, and in compliance with applicable state and federal law. Under no circumstance would the district retaliate against an employee as a result of the employee’s report of abuse of neglect.”

Metcalf is seeking: back pay; prejudgment interest; postjudgment interest; reinstatement or front pay in lieu of thereof; compensatory, incidental and consequential damages sustained by plaintiff as a result of defendants’ conduct; punitive damages from the individually named defendants; an injunction against defendants to preclude further acts of retaliation and further constitutional deprivations; and attorney fees and costs; and such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

Metcalf is being represented by David C. Schoenberger of Bakke Norman, S.C. of Menomonie.

The defendants have 20 days from receiving the summons to respond to the lawsuit with a written answer.