Published May 14, 2008
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. – A high school teacher accused of calling the Muslim father of one of his students a terrorist will not be back next school year.
The Michigan City Area Schools Board voted unanimously Tuesday to cancel the contract of John Scheimann, who has taught in the district for 19 years. The action was included in several personnel recommendations by Superintendent Michael Harding. There was no discussion.
Scheimann could not be reached for comment Wednesday by The Associated Press because there was no telephone listing for him. He told The News-Dispatch last week that Hussein M. Mroueh's daughter had "twisted my words."
"School policy, as it is, is to take the kid's word," Scheimann told the paper.
Mroueh filed a lawsuit in LaPorte Circuit Court on April 2 against Scheimann and the school district. It alleges that the Michigan City High School social studies teacher said in a class that included Mroueh's daughter that Mroueh was on a terrorist watch list. It also alleges that the teacher told Mroueh's daughter that he worked for the Department of Homeland Security.
Scheimann knew the accusations were false and the statements harmed Mroueh's reputation and caused emotional damages to him and his daughter, the lawsuit contends. Mroueh is seeking unspecified damages from Scheimann and the northwestern Indiana school district.
Documents obtained by The News-Dispatch through the state's Access to Public Records Act, include a written reprimand of Scheimann for his remarks toward the girl. The documents also contain copies of Scheimann's personnel file that showed several warnings and suspensions. He is not teaching at this time because of a suspension.
Police also are investigating someone shooting out two windows at the Mroueh house and two windows of their car on April 26. Police also are investigating two shootings since January apparently directed at Principal Mark Francesconi's rural LaPorte home. At least nine shots were fired at the home on April 30.