Teacher Arrested For 'Making Out' With 5th Grader Is Still Being Paid

By Jason Hall

May 16, 2024

Photo: St. Croiz Sheriff's Office

Madison Bergmann, the engaged Wisconsin elementary school teacher accused of "making out" with a fifth-grade student, has still been collecting her $51,000 teacher's salary since her May 1 arrest, the New York Post reports.

Hudson Schools Superintendent Nick Ouellette confirmed that Bergmann, 24, and another teacher were placed on administrative leave from River Crest Elementary. The second teacher, who was not identified by name, may have had prior knowledge of Bergmann's behavior but didn't report it, however, has not been charged with a crime.

Both Bergmann and the anonymous teacher offered their resignation, which launched a debate on whether the district should accept them or fire Bergmann outright, with Hudson School District human resources director Andrea Voelker arguing that it would be an easier process to accept the resignations than firing as termination would result in both teachers continuing to be on the payroll for several more months.

Last week, another student's mother claimed that Bergmann moved the victim's desk next to hers so she could touch him during class without other students noticing.

“My daughter thought he was a problem kid,” another student’s mother told the New York Post. “She said that his desk got moved next to [Bergmann’s] a couple of months ago, and she just assumed that he was in trouble.

“When it was time for lunch, she’d ask him to stay after class, so that just fed into the idea that he was constantly getting into trouble," the mom added.

The mother's accusations echo the fifth-grader's claim that Bergmann, who was charged with first-degree child sexual assault of a child under age 13, would rub his thigh and calves during independent reading time in the River Crest Elementary School class, according to a criminal complaint filed in St. Croix District Court last Thursday (May 2). The complaint states that the child "did not believe any of the other kids would see it happening" due to the placement of his desk.

The boy also told police that Bergmann would have him stay after class and that she kissed him several times in her classroom, after school or while other students were at lunch.

Bergmann was released on a $25,000 signature bond, according to charging documents obtained by CBS News. The parents of the 11-year-old boy overheard the child having a phone conversation with Bergmann earlier in the week of her arrest, at which point they found texts between two in which she allegedly discussed multiple encounters inside the classroom, during lunch or after school, as well as how much she enjoyed him touching her and "making out," documents stated.

The child told investigators that he communicated with Bergmann "almost daily" and got her phone number when they went skiing with his mother at Afton Alps during winter break, which Bergmann also confirmed, though claiming it was in case they got separated at the park. An officer reportedly found a folder with the child's name on it containing handwritten notes inside Bergmann's backpack.

The teacher and the child were reported to have shared the notes throughout the day, which included letters detailing incidents in which they kissed each other, according to court documents.

"One of my cousins is in the 5th grade and I can't imagine a man talking to her how we talk," Bergmann allegedly wrote in a note shared to the child. "I know we have a special relationship and I do love you more than anyone in the world but I have to be the adult here and stop."

Bergmann became engaged to her longtime boyfriend in December, the same month that she and the boy claimed to have exchanged phone numbers, and scheduled her wedding for July, the New York Post reports, citing her social media accounts.

River Crest School Principal issued a statement saying the school community was "shocked and disturbed by this news" in response to allegations against Bergmann via CBS News.

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