Even though one of its teachers was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison for pleading guilty to molesting one of his students, the teachers’ union is claiming that Neal Erickson has unjustly been denied his severance package. The West Branch-Rose City Education Association is looking to recover $10,000 that it feels the Michigan school district owes Erickson, according to the Mackinac Center.
Erickson pled guilty to first-degree sexual conduct with a minor and was sentenced after being charged for raping an eighth-grade boy multiple times from 2006 to 2009. Throughout the case, Erickson’s colleagues stood by him, saying that he “made a mistake”; they explained that Erickson had “allowed a mutual friendship to develop into much more,” and suggested the victim may have consented. They also asked the judge to be lenient in his sentencing, which the judge rejected.
The union filed a grievance in October, arguing the request for the $10,000 is “based on contractual compliance.” But the superintendent and school board opposed the severance, saying that Erickson was not entitled to the money, prompting the union to file for arbitration.
“It’s completely ludicrous,” the boy’s father told EAGNews. “I mean, a child molester paid to molest a student? He doesn’t deserve it.”
The union declined to elaborate on its decision to take the case to arbitration, according to FoxNews.com.