Former student sues Nicolet School District, claims officials did nothing to stop sexual abuse

GLENDALE -- A lawsuit is filed against the Nicolet School District by a former student claiming the district did nothing to stop sexual abuse by one of its math leaders. That math teacher committed suicide less than a year ago -- after sexual misconduct accusations first surfaced.

Nicolet High School

The 45-page lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, March 26 by Mark Bonchek. In the lawsuit, the former student and alleged victim claims the Nicole School District and others knowingly disregarded his calls for help.

Nearly four decades after a teenage boy said he was sexually assaulted by a teacher at Nicolet High School, Bonchek is now making his voice heard. He is fighting back against his attacker, former math teacher David Johnson, as well as the school district Johnson represented. In the lawsuit, Bonchek claims "the sexual perpetrator was enabled by those adults in power...who covered up and fraudulently concealed the deviant sexual misconduct of their employee."

Mark Bonchek

In addition to the school district, the lawsuit names numerous former school board members who Bonchek claims were responsible for covering up the assaults; those Bonchek said "breached the duty of trust for the protection of children."

In spring 2018, the school district launched an initial investigation into the allegations and published a four-page report about their findings. Two days later, Johnson was found dead at his home of an apparent suicide.

David Johnson

Nicolet School District found at least a dozen boys had been sexually assaulted by Johnson during his time at the school.

School district officials declined to do an on-camera interview. Instead, Nicolet Superintendent Dr. Robert Kobylski issued the following statement:

"Over the past several years, the Nicolet School District has conducted a thorough and deliberate investigation into a former Nicolet teacher accused of abusing students several decades ago. This includes reaching out to former students who may have been victimized by this teacher to offer the proper acknowledgement, apology and healing health resources owed to these victims.

"The current administration remains committed to doing everything possible to provide transparency and allow for healing for the victims.

"As the District is now a named defendant in litigation filed by one of the victims, we cannot provide any comments about specific claims made in the lawsuit."

FOX6 News reached out to Bonchek's attorney for comment. We were directed to a website which states the following:

"The investigation revealed another disturbing truth. Not only was Johnson a serial predator, but the administration was complicit in covering it up. School officials were informed of Johnson’s abuse in 1983 and chose not to act, protecting their reputation instead of their students.

"I commend the administration for the thoroughness of its investigation. But transparency is not responsibility. The cost of the abuse on my life has been severe. Beneath the surface of my accomplishments are decades of psychological distress, damaged relationships, and lost opportunities.

"Nothing can change what happened, but with justice comes healing. I hope my case against the school district will be a catalyst for both."

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