By Shereen Siewert
All charges against a former Mosinee Middle School art teacher accused of assaulting a student have been dropped, but the district opted not to renew her contract for the next school year.
Christy Mathis, 50, faced charges of first-degree sexual assault after a student reported she was touched inappropriately during class. The charge was filed April 21 in Marathon County Circuit Court.
But that charge was dismissed last week without prejudice after Circuit Judge Mike Moran ruled there was no probable cause to move forward with the case. Whereas a case that is dismissed “with prejudice” is dismissed permanently, a case that is dismissed “without prejudice” means that the plaintiff is allowed to re-file charges, alter the claim, or bring the case to another court.
In a press release sent Aug. 12, Mosinee School Superintendent David Muñoz said Mathis would not be teaching in the district for the upcoming school year, a decision made by the Mosinee School Board that he said is unrelated to the case filed against her.
“The District’s decision was based entirely on Ms. Mathis’s performance as a teacher,” Muñoz said. “The events that resulted in criminal charges against Ms. Mathis had nothing to do with the decision not to renew her contract.”
Muñoz said the board held a separate proceeding regarding the allegations against Mathis and was “reportedly advised not to attend the meeting.”
Mathis did not appear, Muñoz said.
Legal standards that apply in criminal cases, such as the right to face an accuser, do not apply to school board discharge proceedings, Muñoz said.
“The Board has the authority to intervene to protect District students and sanction any inappropriate conduct, regardless of whether it is a crime,” he said. “The Board’s process was fair and its decisions were based on the evidence that the Board had before it.”