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DPI: Former Fall River superintendent accused of inappropriately touching student

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Records from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction reveal former Fall River Schools Superintendent Michael Garrow inappropriately touched a student he coached in another school district.

Garrow was fired from his Fall River position in August and surrendered his state educator licenses earlier this month.

State documents show in August, DPI officials moved to revoke Garrow's licenses, maintaining he had committed immoral conduct. The records state he inappropriately touched a twelfth grade student from Jefferson High School.

In the agreement with DPI that led to Garrow surrendering his licenses, Garrow "...continues to deny all allegations." 27 News has been unable to reach Garrow for comment.

The records go on to say Garrow "...used snapchat with (student) almost every day," and sent her a photograph of himself "...lying in bed and showed his bare chest and abdomen."

Documents say the girl's high school team spent the night at Garrow's Sun Prairie home in February 2018. Records state during that evening, "(Garrow's) hand moved underneath (student's) shirt and he touched her bare skin. " The documents say the student tried to stop Garrow's actions.

According to the records, as a result of the allegations, in May 2018, Jefferson School District Superintendent Mark Rollefson banned Garrow from his volunteer coaching position, and also banned Garrow from contact with students in the Jefferson district.
Fall River School Board President Keith Miller tells 27 News that officials in his district were not informed of Garrow's ban from students in Jefferson until months after it took effect.

Miller says when Fall River officials became aware of the allegations, Garrow was given a "letter of expectations," but allowed to continue in his position.

"And we certainly weren't going to jump to conclusions while it was under investigation," Miller tells 27 News. "You don't want to prejudice an individual and put yourself at risk of a lawsuit," Miller said.

When Garrow was fired as Fall River's superintendent, Miller said the decision involved Garrow's connection to a student outside of the Fall River district. Miller Tuesday declined to comment as to whether that student was the Jefferson High School student referenced in the state documents.

DPI spokesperson Benson Gardner says his department began the investigation into Garrow in August 2018.

There's no indication any law enforcement agency was contacted about Garrow's actions, even though state records say the teen resisted as Garrow placed a finger under the waist band of her pants during the Sun Prairie incident. "I am not aware of any investigation," Sun Prairie Detectives Sgt. Ryan Cox says.

In 2012, Garrow also resigned from a superintendent position in Milton after staff members alleged he had shown them an inappropriate photo.

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Tony Galli

Reporter, WKOW

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