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Former WI Rapids Student and Family Sue School District

The Wisconsin Rapids School District, superintendent, principals, and several teachers and wrestling coaches are being sued by a former student and his parents.

A civil lawsuit filed federally Friday alleges the district failed to protect a freshman wrestler from bullying, sexual and verbal abuse and harassment from older teammates.

Dr. Colleen Dickman, Kathi Stebbins Hintz, Ryan Christianson, Rodney Henke, Trudy DeSimons, Benjamin Janke, Scott Benitz, Dennis Nelson and the Wisconsin Rapids Public School District are named as defendants.

The lawsuit says during the 2010-2011 wrestling season, the teen was targeted as a victim of bullying and abuse several times and that his coaches knew about it but failed to stop it or report it and even discouraged the teen from reporting it.

It also says that Assistant Principal Rodney Henke, who was in charge of overseeing students with special needs, expressly informed the teen that he would not provide supervision for him in the locker room or provide protection in the hallways, classrooms, or shower rooms.

The lawsuit also says when the district learned of the abuse, it offered no assistance or protection for the teen who eventually transferred schools.

Four former Lincoln High School students have been convicted of disorderly conduct in a criminal case.

The plaintiffs are demanding compensatory money damages for costs, disbursements and attorney's fees.

Superintendent Dr. Colleen Dickmann has not returned a call for comment.


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