Whether Mueller-Owens will be able to find a place in the community remains to be seen, as he has kept a low profile since media reports surfaced last month about the Feb. 13 incident and sparked a flurry of outrage in the community.
Mikiea Price, the girl’s mother, has said she believed Mueller-Owens snapped when he attempted to escort her daughter out of a classroom after she had repeatedly disrupted it.
“I have been in several situations where students have kicked me, spit on me, broke my ankle, and I still did not conduct myself in that kind of manner,” Price said when no criminal charges were filed against Mueller-Owens.
Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham penned an open letter to the Madison community in which she described the altercation as “especially horrific.”
“Jennifer Cheatham has known me ever since she came to Madison and has grown to respect me and trust me,” Mueller-Owens said. “She invited me to the White House with her because of the restorative work I’ve done in the district and my commitment to kids in this city.”
The irony of the incident is that Mueller-Owens served as a positive behavior coach. He traveled to Washington D.C. with Cheatham to attend a conference in 2015 at the White House to talk about reforming school discipline.
“E tu Brute? That’s how I felt. You’re going to stab me in the back, too, Ms. Cheatham?” Mueller-Owens said in response to the superintendent’s open letter.
Mueller-Owens and his attorney, Jordan Loeb, said MMSD’s handling of the incident and his employment with the district was unfair.
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