Dale Brungardt and Special Education Student and Girl Beats Boy (Remarkable Principal #3)

noid1y01077Mr. Dale Brungardt is in his eleventh year as principal of EJSHS. As a graduate of Victoria High School, he attended FHSU for a couple of years before enlisting in the United States Air Force, as a Nuclear Lab Technician. Upon completing of the enlistment, he returned to finish his school at FHSU. Dale graduated in 1994 from FHSU wit a B.S. in Mathematics and a minor in Physics. In 2001, Mr. Brungardt completed his M.S. in Educational Administration; a year later he signed on with Ellsworth.

Dale was in the classroom for 8 years, a majority of that time was spent in Phillipsburg High School. He has also taught at Hays High School.  At Phillipsburg he taught Geometry, Applied Math, Physics and Calculus. Mr. Brungardt coached Middle School Football and High School Boys Basketball. He was a junior class sponsor and a member of the instructional cabinet.

Dale has been married to Beth for 22 years and has 4 children: Ryan, a freshman at FHSU, Kaley, a junior at EJSHS, Janae who is a 6th grader at KMS, and Jaret, a 3rd grader at EES. Mr. Brungardt likes to spend time woodworking, spend time with the family and looking up at airplanes and stars.

Last week’s What would you do?


A student comes to you and tells you that one of the older students (18 years old) in the Special Education Resource Room became angry with a paraprofessional when another older student was harassing the angry student and the para did very little to stop it.  The informant stated that the angry student threatened to get a firearm and return to the school and shoot whomever he didn’t like.  You know the angry student is identified as emotionally unstable, intellectually limited, and obsessive and compulsive.  You know the angry student’s home life is extremely unstable, the mother and child moved to your community after an extremely contentious divorce two years ago.  You know there are firearms for hunting in the home.  What would you do?


We have several things that need to be addressed.  First, the student and witnesses need to be questioned to find out what exactly happened and the student who made the threat needs to be isolated under supervision.  Once you determine the threat was serious and severe in nature, you must contact the parents of the students involved and law enforcement.  Even though the student is 18, I have always notified the parent if the student lives with the parent.  If he does not, the I ask if I can notify the parent.  Once the fact have been obtained, short and extended term suspension proceedings should be initiated along with notification of the special education professional who will be needed to hold a manifestation hearing to determine if this type of behavior is related to the student’s disability.  If the behavior is related, the student may not be suspended for an extended term but a change of placement would be in order.  Along with the change of placement I have always asked for a statement from a mental health professional the student no longer poses a threat to himself or others before I agree to a future placement back in my school.

Now you must deal with the student who was harassing or maybe bullying the student.

Once you have dealt with the students and witnesses you must deal with the problem of the paraprofessional not reporting the incident, either to her supervisor or you.  If this is the first occasion of the employee not following proper procedure, a verbal warning and follow-up memo for the records are in order.  You must also address what the supervisor of the para (the resource room teacher) had expected and told the para to do prior to the incident.

Next week’s What Would You Do?


A ninth grade boy, who is identified as ADHD, ADD and BD along with being a general pain in the rear, has trouble with the truth, and an only child of older parents, has constantly harassed a ninth grade girl for the past 4 years.   The girl is of mixed race, twice as big as the boy, and lives with her mother and grandmother next door to the boy.  Over the weekend the girl’s dog has been shot repeatedly by a bb gun and was reported to law enforcement.  On the way to lunch Monday, the boy says to the girl,”How did your like your dog being shot?  You shouldn’t have an ugly dog like that in our neighborhood!”  At which point the girls goes into a tirade and begins beating the boy unmercifully, drawing blood and a crown.  The girl is pulled off repeatedly but breaks free each time to continue to beat the boy.  Finally, the the girls is forcefully removed to the principals office and the boy is taken to the nurse.  What would you do?

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