'He'll go to hell for what he did': Former Nicolet student says he was also abused by former teacher

TODAY'S TMJ4 sat down with a former Nicolet student who said he was also abused by David Johnson.

Johnson is the former teacher under investigation by the district after a different student came forward saying he was sexually assaulted. The district's investigation said it's credible that student and at least one other were sexually abused by the former math department head. 

The man asked us to hide his identity because he hopes to move on after the interview. First, he wanted to share his story.

The 1980 Nicolet graduate said Johnson was a highly respected teacher at the school. Head of the math department and in charge of two popular clubs.

"He was this leader, a figure that was trusted an authoritative figure and well known," he said.

So highly respected, when Johnson asked the man to help him with exercises, both he and his parents were happy to be a part of it.

"It was this exercise program, and he showed them the sheets that he was going to fill out. And it looked fine and my parents were like 'Oh. You take an interest in my boy, right?'" the man said.

The man said he quickly found the exercises strange.

"And I just remember and this is the first part that I'll never forget," the man said. "He said 'Now pump your legs. And the resistance. Let's see how long you can do it, how fast you can do it in a minute.' And he says 'Let's see if you can go faster.'"

After months of feeling uncomfortable, the then high school junior confided in his parents.

"It's just too weird," the man said he told his parents. "And my dad said 'Well, what do you mean weird. Like, how?'" The man told TODAY'S TMJ4 he showed his father what Johnson had done. "He goes 'Well, that's not right.' He says 'You're not going back.'"

The man said he's battled guilt and anxiety since this happened.

"I wish I would have been brave enough early to do that," he said. 

He meant brave enough to do what Nicolet said a former student did in 2016. That student described a time in 1983 when he said he did the same exercises with Johnson. The district report said an attorney found the allegations credible. It sparked a conversation between this man and his brother.

"My brother, he needed help with math," said the man. "For David Johnson to come forward and help you - wow. And he didn't want anything in return. He didn't want money. He said in exchange you do this exercise program for me," he said.

The man never knew what his brother had gone through. 

"I personally know people and I know that they've said they know people from my grade," he said.

The man said, "the whole system failed us." The report from the district shows officials with the district were aware of inappropriate behavior. It also said a teacher reported Johnson's behavior to Glendale Police Department.

This man wanted to talk to TODAY'S TMJ4 because he wants people to listen and learn and do better for future generations.

The district wants to hear from any other possible victims. They are urged to contact Superintendent Robert Kobylski at 414-351-7525.

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