With Justice Comes Healing

(Photo: C.T. Kruger/Now News Group)

(Photo: C.T. Kruger/Now News Group)

Mark Bonchek in Nicolet Magic Company brochure, 1981

Mark Bonchek in Nicolet Magic Company brochure, 1981

David Johnson in Nicolet yearbook

David Johnson in Nicolet yearbook

 

My name is Mark Bonchek and I graduated from Nicolet High School in 1982.

While at Nicolet, I was sexually molested on numerous occasions by David Johnson, then Chairman of Nicolet’s Math Department.

In 2016, I reported my abuse to the school district. The subsequent investigation proved my claims and revealed that Johnson abused at least a dozen other students while at Nicolet.

The investigation revealed another disturbing truth. Not only was Johnson a serial predator, but the administration was complicit in covering it up. School officials were informed of Johnson’s abuse in 1983 and chose not to act, protecting their reputation instead of their students.

I commend the administration for the thoroughness of its investigation. But transparency is not responsibility. The cost of the abuse on my life has been severe. Beneath the surface of my accomplishments are decades of psychological distress, damaged relationships, and lost opportunities.

Nothing can change what happened, but with justice comes healing. I hope my case against the school district will be a catalyst for both.

March 25, 2019