Michael Alstad Wiki – Michael Alstad Biography
Group teacher Michael Alstad agreed in response to a case that he had sex with his student Maria Joyner several times a week from his early 30s and was a high school student in Aberdeen in 1989. Having sex with her even after her parents find out and confront her. The harassment continued until he left for university.
A school district in Washington state, a woman who was sued 30 years ago for sexual harassment by a group of teachers agreed to a $ 2 million deal – such a profound trauma that it caused her to stop teaching children music decades later.
Teacher gets $2M settlement
“Music was very important to me and something I saw in my future,” Joyner, now 47, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “But when something so traumatic came to me from a mentor in the field, it greatly affected my ability to teach in the classroom. Being about 16-year-old girls and seeing how vulnerable and young they are brings back such memories. ”
Darrell Cochran, one of Joyner’s attorneys, said the settlement fee will be paid by regional insurance.
Joyner said he hoped the deal would get other victims to stand out. The Associated Press usually does not name people who say they have been victims of sexual harassment, but requested that the name Joyner be used.
Case Alstad allegedly previously abused a student in another school district. In the court document in which Alstad admitted that he had sex with Joyner, he refused to address whether he abused other students.
“I refuse to answer,” he said in response to written questions from Joyner’s lawyers. “For the sake of the claim, assuming that I have such contact with another student, that student may now have a life that will be badly disrupted by any involvement in this case. I would rather be punished by the court than to respond.”
Alstad, 63, who has been a group teacher and manager in Washington for years and recently managed a community group in Saskatchewan, Canada, expressed regret in a written statement given to the AP by his attorney David Marshall.
“I made a serious mistake when I was a young high school teacher,” said Alstad. “I regret this very much. I hope this agreement helps Ms. Joyner.”
Neither Alstad nor Marshall answered questions about whether the AP harassed other students.
The Aberdeen School District did not admit Joyner’s fault in the Dec. 4 resolution of the case filed at the Snohomish County Supreme Court last year. Attorney Brent Beecher said in an email that the county’s current administration was not aware of the misconduct until 2018.
“The district was upset and horrified to learn about what had happened thirty years ago and took its responsibility to compensate the student very seriously,” the statement said.
Joyner, a drummer and multi-instrumentalist living in Olympia, continued to engage in music, earn music degrees from the University of Washington, teach jazz at community universities, and perform with the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra.
But after eight years of teaching at Olympia and other school districts in 2015, he said he gave up because it brought him too much anxiety. Alstad was jealous and manipulative for harassing him at home, on group trips and at school, he said. Even decades later, in a different school, “when you go to the orchestra room, you go where the harassment happened.”
Her case said she threatened her life to continue the abuse.
Alstad worked in the Sunnyside and Cheney School Districts from the early to mid-1980s before being hired at Aberdeen. After leaving for college in 1992, Joyner moved to Saskatchewan, where he directed the North Battleford City Kinsmen Band until 1999.
He later returned to Washington state and continued to teach at Port Townsend High School. Joyner said he filed a complaint with the Office of the State Public Education Inspectorate after learning. According to state records, he voluntarily handed over his teaching certificate in 2006 instead of discipline.
Alstad served as director of the Around The Sound Community Band, which includes adults and high school students in Seattle, and the executive director of the Music Center of the Northwest, a Seattle-based nonprofit music school. He then returned to his old job in Saskatchewan in 2018.
The North Battleford group did not immediately respond to a call or an email asking for comment. On Wednesday, the website that made Alstad public the day before could only be accessed with a password.