Mitchell Technical College facing federal lawsuit

MITCHELL, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – Dakota News Now has learned that a lawsuit involving a former instructor at Mitchell Technical College alleges wrongful termination. The lawsuit claims the employee acted as a whistleblower to supervisors regarding the behavior of another instructor.

Michael Neal Carpentier addressed the students’ concerns regarding another instructor allegedly sexually harassing other students. The students reported inappropriate touching in a sexually suggestive manner and the instructor discussing his preferences in pornography with the students. Some students also told Carpentier that they were afraid to be alone with the other instructor. The complaints were made over a series of years.

Court documents indicate a supervisor allegedly responded to Carpentier that the allegations were merely hearsay and students talking, dismissing the claims or additional follow-up.

Carpentier’s attorney also claims his client continued to advocate for the students by assisting them in filing complaints with the Title XI Coordinator at Mitchell Technical College.

The complaint was filed in Federal court on Nov. 3. The next step is an anticipated response from attorneys representing Mitchell Technical College and Mitchell School District, which has some oversight of the college.

A representative from Mitchell Tech provided Dakota News Now with the following statement: “Mitchell Technical College officials are unable to comment on either allegation, as both situations in question are personnel in nature.”