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Mother Behind Accusations Against Knoxville Superintendent Wants Justice

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KNOXVILLE, Iowa -- Private health information released by the Knoxville Community School District in June has Superintendent Cassandra Pearson under fire.  "I won't say what was put out there, but to the student, it was very devastating." Kelly Thompson is the mother of the student whose information was publicly displayed. "It was up there five, seven days. It was publicized on the internet."

Superintendent Pearson's attorney claims it was a staff member who posted the information.  Thompson is holding Pearson responsible.  "I'm guessing it was one of her staff members but was she aware of it? Yes, she knew it was there."  From there the damage was done and Thompson first wanted action from the school board. She said, "Not only once did I go but I went twice and tried to get answers of where I should go and what I should do.  Nobody wanted to help me."

She then took it to the state level with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners but Pearson's attorney claims the filing is in retaliation after coach Joel Johnson, a family member, was not re-hired as Knoxville's baseball coach. Attorney Steve Wandro said, "The only conclusion that one can draw is that this disgruntled former employee is out for revenge for not having his contract renewed."

Thompson says that's laughable "This has nothing to do with coach Johnson.  He's a great man, but ultimately this has to do with parents upset right now and finding justice for our child."

Superintendent Pearson has been under investigation since August.  Despite the BOEE finding probable cause of a violation Pearson's attorney doesn't seem bothered. It's something Thompson says doesn't surprise her.  Wandro said,  "On a scale of one to ten in my experience of dealing with these matters this whole issue doesn't even get you to a one."  In response, Thompson quickly added, "Even murderers have to have an attorney. They've got somebody defending them so I guess if he doesn't see merit in it then he must not have a heart just like she doesn't."

A hearing has been set for March 16, 2017.

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