Allegations of improper conduct by a Ripon teacher this week have not been substantiated by a police investigation.

   Ripon Police found no probable cause to recommend charges against the Ripon Area School District teacher, who will remain unnamed for this reason. During the course of the investigation, the teacher in question was on paid leave.

   Details of the situation were released late this afternoon by the school district via a press release, which notes that a social worker also involved has identified "no safety concerns associated with this case."

   According to the release, which was sent this afternoon to all Ripon Area School District parents, staff and School Board members:

Dear Parents,

   At the end of the day on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, several middle school students expressed concern that a teacher,
who was covering for the PE teacher out sick, had yelled into the locker room and may have seen students undressing.

   The students in PE class, having seen other students in the hallway returning from a field trip, assumed class was over
and headed to the locker room 15 minutes before class was scheduled to end. The teacher yelled into both the boys and
girls locker rooms to tell the students to return to the gym as class was not over yet. The teacher yelled in a second time
as some students were not coming out.

   School Resource Officer (SRO) Henning and Principal Rick Bunge completed interviews Wednesday and Thursday with
students who were in the locker room and/or standing outside the locker room. As a result of the interviews conducted,
there has been no information obtained to support concern about the teacher’s behavior, specifically at no point did the
teacher step into or enter the locker room.

   During the interview process two students, not involved in the locker room situation, came to Principal Bunge and shared
other concerns. The concerns were reported to SRO Henning, parents and protective services. The teacher was placed
on paid leave. Further follow up was conducted with these students and their parents at the City of Ripon Police
Department.

   On October 19, 2018, at the conclusion of the police investigation, which included the allegation by one student of a
possible inappropriate touch, law enforcement determined there is no probable cause any crime has been committed. A
social worker from the Fond du Lac County Department of Social Services was involved in this investigation with the City
of Ripon Police Department and has indicated having no safety concerns associated with this case.

   Student safety is an essential part of the District’s purpose and mission. The District has adopted policies and
administrative guidelines designed, in large part, to ensure student safety. The District’s administration and staff are
trained to enforce these policies and guidelines and to enlist the assistance of law enforcement as necessary. The
District has cooperated with the investigation and investigation timeline as requested by law enforcement.

Thank you,
Mary Whitrock

Read the full story in the Oct. 25, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.