OMRO, Wis. (WFRV) - UPDATE
THURSDAY 11/29/2018 4:05 pm
The Omro School District's restraining order against School Board member Joanie Beem has been dismissed.
The Court said the two had come to a mediation agreement; however, if either party believes the other is not complying with the agreement, they can bring the case back to court.
MONDAY 10/1/2018 1:30 pm
UPDATE: Restraining Order Hearing into Omro School Board Member Postponed
The hearing on Omro School District's restraining order against School Board member Joanie Beem has been postponed to November 14th.
Beem cannot be in the Superintendent’s Office until the conflict has been resolved.
Winnebago County Court is referring the case to Conflict Resolution for mediation.
WEDNESDAY 9/19/2018 6:30 pm
Omro School District Files Restraining Order Against School Board Member
A Winnebago County Judge has granted Omro School District a temporary restraining order against School board member Joanie Beem following what the district describes as harassment.
The 12-page petition filed in Winnebago County Circuit Court accuses Beem of harassment and cyber bullying through "thousands" of emails and social media posts.
The document states that the behavior has been ongoing "over the last 5.5 years," but has increased in the past two years.
The restraining order includes a clause allowing Beem to attend "scheduled School Board meetings," but forbids her from any other contact with district employees.
Nicole Niedermeier, a parent with two sons in the district, says that what the district considers harassment is just Beem trying to do her job.
"Joanie is incredibly persistent, which I appreciate, in trying to get answers," Niedermeier said.
Those answers date back to a grassroots movement this past May, in which parents and community members petitioned and protested the district's decision not to renew the contract of a popular middle school teacher.
That effort was a success, but Niedermeier said the effort lead her and other parents to become more actively involved in the district.
"That was the beginning of the mistrust for myself," she told Local 5. "And then it has just kind of grown from there."
Niedermeier says that at the last School Board Meeting, she asked about the cost of an open records request. She says that Beem was seeking more information from Superintendent Kelly Rieckmann on September 14, when an incident that is detailed in the court filing took place.
The document states that on that day, Beem entered the district office to ask for a "list of fees," and "would not leave until she had what she wanted."
Rieckmann ended the encounter by asking the school's resource officer to escort Beem off of school property.
Local 5 reached out to Rieckmann for comment on that incident and others detailed in the filing, and she responded with an email reading "The district has no comment on this matter."
The temporary restraining order is expected to be addressed in an October 1st hearing in Winnebago County Circuit Court.
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