Education

Benton music teacher accused of inappropriate relationship with student

Brad Williamson's license suspended, despite his denial

VAN HORNE — The teaching license of a music teacher in the Benton Community School District has been suspended for 18 months after allegations he solicited or encouraged an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Brad Williamson was licensed to teach middle and high school music, according to Board of Educational Examiners documents.

The board also charged Williamson with failing to reasonably try to protect the health and safety of a student and exposing students or others to unnecessary embarrassment.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office, when asked about any investigations of Williamson, referred The Gazette to an October 2018 news release that marked the start of an investigation of a then-unnamed high school staff member.

No charges have been filed.

Superintendent Pam Ewell confirmed Williamson is no longer employed by the district.

“Because he is not an employee and is a member of the general public, the district will not provide him access to school programs and/or students,” she said in an email.

The Board of Educational Examiners, which oversees teacher licensing in Iowa, investigated Williamson and found he “came into physical contact” with a student and communicated with the student via social media during August and September 2018.

The board received a complaint against Williamson on Feb. 14.

Williamson, according to the ruling, denies having encouraged the inappropriate relationship.

In lieu of a hearing, Williamson agreed to a written reprimand, the 18-month suspension, a mental health evaluation and 15 hours of ethical instruction from the Iowa State Education Association.

Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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