Guidance counselor quits over ‘bullying’Killdeer Public School has begun searching for a guidance counselor since Michele Burian handed in her resignation, citing administrative “bullying or harassment” as her reason for leaving.
Killdeer Public School has begun searching for a guidance counselor since Michele Burian handed in her resignation, citing administrative “bullying or harassment” as her reason for leaving.
“It was beginning to feel hostile and I sought employment elsewhere,” Burian said Wednesday. Though she did not file a formal complaint, the School Board was made aware of her reasons to resign.
She would not name the person or people who allegedly harassed her and KPS Superintendent Gary Wilz said he doesn’t know who she is accusing. He, along with the elementary and high school principals, are the only administrators, according to the district website.
“Usually if there’s an issue, then there should be a filing of a formal complaint because that’s how we do business here,” Wilz said, adding he’s never seen a complaint on a resignation.
Burian said she didn’t file a complaint because she made Wilz aware of the alleged harassment, which she said went on for two years.
However, Wilz denies that he was aware prior to her resignation.
North Dakota Education Association and others attended meetings with administrators where Burian felt bullied, according to her resignation letter.
Fern Pokorny, UniServ director for the NDEA, confirmed she attended, but would not say whether or not she felt Burian was being bullied. NDEA is not investigating the allegations.
“The school board voted to ask their attorney to investigate in this instance, so we don’t need to duplicate,” Pokorny said.
Gary Thune, legal counsel for the North Dakota School Boards Association, said attorneys are not investigating.
He said if a formal complaint is filed, an investigation is normally conducted by school supervisors.
“I feel bad that it happened,” Burian said. “I just thought they should be called on the carpet. I just don’t want it to happen to somebody else.”
The Killdeer School Board did not formally accept Burian’s resignation, since they wanted to seek legal counsel first, Wilz said.
Burian has worked at KPS for 12 years.
Killdeer Elementary School Principal Carol Dietz declined comment. Calls to High School Principal Steve Quintus and all School Board members were not returned.