Simeroth said he could not confirm if he had spoken to one or more accusers concerning the matter.
“Like I’ve said before, we look into any and all complaints, regarding any student or any staff,” said Simeroth. “If someone else has something to say, we’ll listen to them.”
The granddaughter said she was in a driver’s education class in the summer of 2006 with the teacher. It was during this time that allegations were made involving inappropriate contact and other behavior that frightened her. She and her grandmother spoke to the Democrat on the condition of anonymity.
“It was my turn to drive. He had me drive to his house at Lake Durant. He put his hand on my upper thigh while I was driving,” said the granddaughter.
According to the grandmother, this was also the story her granddaughter told to the administrators at the meeting, “They (administrators at the meeting) asked her if she told him to stop, and she responded that she didn’t know what to tell him.”
The granddaughter said during the same trip he made what she considered another advance toward her.
“He asked us if we wanted to go swimming, and I said, ‘We don’t have swimsuits,’ and he said, ‘You don’t need any.’ He said, ‘next time bring your bathing suit.’”
It was after this incident the granddaughter said she told her mother who called and left messages with different offices but never got a call back.
“After that, I tried to stay away from him,” said the granddaughter. “When I did return to class, he basically tortured me. He took us driving on a dirt road. He slammed on the emergency brake and we did a 180.
“I went to take my final exam on the last day. He told me I was cheating and I was kicked out of Driver’s Ed. There was almost 50 or 60 kids in that class. That was humiliating. Everybody there, I went to school with for all those years. It hurt me emotionally. I wasn’t able to get my permit.”
The grandmother believed this was an act of retaliation.
“I think that he was told about (the incident being reported) and that he was trying to discredit her,” said the grandmother.
She said her granddaughter did not want to go back to the high school after that and finished her education in the alternative program.
“It changed her. She was changed because of those incidents,” said the grandmother. “She didn’t go back to school. She was fearful. She didn’t have respect for male teachers or anybody of authority.”
She said the granddaughter was asked during the meeting with administrators why she didn’t come forward years earlier and she said she “didn’t want to be considered a snitch.”
“I was scared,” said the granddaughter. “I’m only 15 when this happened and nobody did anything about it. I was just scared.”
She said the article that ran following the board meeting prompted them to come forward now because the granddaughter “didn’t want it to happen to any more girls.” The grandmother added that their motives weren’t related to trying to get involved in any kind of civil lawsuit.
“We don’t want it to happen to anyone else,” she said. “We haven’t thought anything about a civil suit. She doesn’t want her name on anything. She doesn’t want the attention. We’re not after money. We’re not those kinds of people. My daughter said the only thing she hoped (my granddaughter) could get back was the money she spent on the Driver’s Ed class, because my granddaughter worked to get the money to pay for it.”