Education

Janesville teacher resigns following OWI arrest, district releases records on matter

JANESVILLE, Wis. - A Janesville teacher, charged with fourth-offense operating while intoxicated, has resigned from his position.

A spokesman with the School District of Janesville said Dennis Brunner, 50, of Janesville, resigned from his position in March. 

Brunner was placed on administrative leave in February after he was arrested. He was found passed out in a vehicle, that had been backed in to his driveway, according to court documents.

Officials said that as they were waiting to conduct field sobriety tests, Brunner stated he needed to go inside his house and feed his dog. They said he then became aggressive and resisted officers when he was told he had to stay outside. Police said Brunner also told officers he knows a lot of “biker guys” and said there would be a bounty put on the head of the arresting officer.  

News 3 Now filed a records request to the district to learn more about their investigation into the matter. Administrators recommended Brunner resign from his position or be fired.

The district's report from the district says “menacing, threatening behavior, including an outright refusal to obey lawful authority is out of step with the district’s responsible behavioral expectations for professional staff that it is clearly relevant to Mr. Brunner’s job. 

District leaders also said they ask students to refrain from violence and bullying, which is why they “cannot tolerate embarrassing, highly public displays of menacing, threatening behavior that is directed, as it was, to public officials who are attempting to secure the public’s safety.” 

The district's report also goes on to say that Brunner’s actions go against physical education curriculum today, which involves teaching health and wellness and making responsible decisions when it comes to fitness, nutrition and diet.

District leaders also said this incident violates policies put in place by the district Board of Education.

The report said “This is not Mr. Brunner’s first offense for OWI. It is his fourth. This means the district has given Mr. Brunner multiple chances to get past his OWI offense and start making healthy and safe choices for himself and the students he serves.”

Brunner has been employed at the district since 1995 and was a physical education teacher at Madison Elementary School. 

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