VNL Investigates: Numerous whistleblowers from Barnesville come forward on inappropriate conversation investigation

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 8:41 PM CST
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BARNESVILLE, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Since Wednesday, January 19th, Valley News Live as received at least 20 tips to their Whistleblower Hotline, saying a staff member within the Barnesville school district had an inappropriate conversation with a 5th-grade student during recess.

Several attempts to get information from Superintendent Jon Ellerbusch went unanswered. Ellerbusch also declined an on-camera interview when asked the following Wednesday. Instead, Ellerbusch recorded the interview himself.

During the interview, Ellerbusch confirmed that an investigation started on Wednesday, the 19th, that had lasted two days. Ellerbusch says he and the principal interviewed all parties involved and after the two days of investigating, they made the decision to close the case and not discipline the staff member.

Shortly after Valley News Live’s interview with Ellerbusch, another concerned parent, who said they did not want to be identified, came forward saying in part, “I am disappointed with the lack of communication from the superintendent and school board.”

Ellerbusch ended Wednesday’s interview saying the parents of the student involved were informed of the school’s decision not to discipline the staff member on Monday, January 24th.

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