FOWLERVILLE (AP) – Congressional candidate Kerry Bentivolio was reprimanded earlier this year for intimidating and threatening students at the Michigan high school where he taught, school records show.
According to the records, which were obtained by the Detroit Free Press under the Freedom of Information Act, the 11th District Republican nominee was issued a written reprimand dated June 7 and signed by Fowlerville High School’s assistant principal.
“Most students reported that they felt threatened and unsure of what you would do,” Myriah Lillie wrote.
Bentivolio soon after reached a settlement with the district and resigned, the Free Press reported Wednesday.
The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from Bentivolio on Wednesday.
A reindeer farmer from Milford who has never held elective office, Bentivolio is running for the U.S. House seat abandoned by former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter.
The school records stated that on the first day of school last year, Bentivolio told students in his Fowlerville High English class that he wanted to make each one of them cry at least once. He also told students they were “just a paycheck to me,” according to a description of incidents in his personnel file.
School administrators reprimanded Bentivolio for intimidating and threatening students by grabbing their desks, yelling in their faces and slamming his fists on their desks.
Bentivolio reached a settlement with the school district and resigned on June 8, the day after the written reprimand from Lillie was issued.
He wrote on evaluations, reprimands and a teacher-improvement plan that the allegations against him were untrue and “politically motivated.”
Bentivolio was the only Republican on the ballot in this month’s GOP primary, which he easily won against write-in challenger Nancy Cassis, a former state senator from Novi.
He will face Democratic candidate, Syed Taj, a Canton Township trustee, in November’s general election.
Bentivolio also is running against four other Republicans in a Sept. 5 special primary election to fill the remaining six weeks of McCotter’s congressional term. The winner of that race will face Democrat David Curson of Belleville in the special Nov. 6 election to fill the rest of McCotter’s term.
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