Former nicolet teacher accused of sexual abuse found dead in his home

"After I was out of high school and realized I was much better at math than Mr. Johnson indicated to me that I was, I thought the fact that he had so few girls in his class was reflected as sexist attitude about girls’ mathematical capabilities," Perlstein said. "Now, in light of what we’ve learned about his record of sexual abuse, I see this in a different light. I see it as an attempt to create a better pool from which to choose his male victims." Johnson’s decisions had an impact

"The effect of sexual abuse on victims is profound, and he’s obviously hurt individuals for life, but there’s another sort of damage he did, which is diminishing the potential of many years of Nicolet girls who could have been excelling at math if they had been given the opportunity," Perlstein said.

"We got to talking about the department and I asked if there were still only three or four girls in all the high-level math classes," Perlstein said. "He said as soon as Mr. Johnson had retired as department chair, as soon as he retired, the honors math classes at Nicolet became 50 percent female."

Dummert said he and his brother, a 1964 graduate who was in Johnson’s math class, never saw an inkling of problems with Johnson. He also said he didn’t approve of the things that were claimed Johnson had done and that it shouldn’t be swept under the rug. Teacher, principals shut down

Perlstein said that while in school she had heard rumors Johnson would invite boys over to his house. In the district’s investigation, which took place for more than a year from 2016 to 2017, the victim revealed Johnson picked him up on weekends and drove him to a classroom at Nicolet High School, where the assaults took place.

The former student said in his interview with the investigator in February 2017 Johnson would close the curtains in a classroom and told him to change into gym clothes. The victim said Johnson would instruct him to do exercises that would result in physical contact between his exposed legs and Johnson’s clothed genital area. The victim said this occurred every four to six weeks five to 10 times during his junior year.

One teacher said that while teaching a summer school typing class at Nicolet in the early 1980s, a student told her Johnson had initiated sexually inappropriate contact with him at his residence, the investigation revealed. The teacher told the investigator last year she called Glendale police at the time to report the incident. She did not hear back from the department, which told her it would look into it.

The district said in its release this week the Glendale Police Department was unable to locate any records relating to a report made to the police department at the time, any investigation the police department may have conducted or any information or recommendations shared by the police department with the district.

But the teacher did hear from the district’s administrator at the time, James O. Reiels. She told the investigator Reiels called her into his office and instructed her not to discuss the incident further, according to the investigation’s findings.

Reiels told one of the principals at the time that Johnson had been instructed to stop such conduct. He told the other principal he should "keep a strict eye" on Johnson in any extracurricular program with students in which Johnson was involved, the report said.

However, after a closed session of the School Board in July 1983, the district allowed Johnson to continue teaching while supervised. The district’s investigator last year spoke with the School Board chairman at the time, who said the session was about Johnson’s "inappropriate interaction with students" and that "the interaction was sexual in nature."

A scholarship — the Johnson Mathematics Scholarship — is given to the highest achieving math student at Waupun High School. The award has been given out the last seven years. The mathematics department of Waupun Area High School selects the recipients based solely on math ability at the direction of Johnson.