Trempealeau County D.A. files charges against coach who brought dry ice to practice

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

"He's done this demonstration with his class for 3 years but never with any unintended consequences," said Dr. David Grace, the District Administrator in the Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau school district.

But in January, it was a different story when high school science teacher Brady Olson, who is also the middle school girls basketball coach, brought dry ice to practice.

A criminal complaint says he made a lid pop off a garbage can using the ice and made water shoot from a water bottle. He told the girls the dry ice was safe to handle and then asked if he could touch dry ice to them.

"Normally this demonstration is to show kids a cold substance," Dr. Grace said. "From what I understand, he normally puts it on her hand or back of the arm. I think this time he put it on their knees."

Some of the girls left practice with marks on their knee. The district, police department and sheriff's department launched an investigation and ultimately found no wrongdoing.

"We had a bunch of parents that said this thing is blown out of proportion," Dr. Grace said.

But within the past day, the school got a criminal complaint from the Trempealeau County D.A., wanting to charge Olson with both physical abuse and disorderly conduct.

"We were very shocked when we received a copy of the complaint," Dr. Grace said.

Dr. Grace says he cannot figure out why the D.A. wants to press charges after the school district and law enforcement found no wrongdoing.

"The Sheriff's Department had talked to everybody and they didn't say they had seen any criminal behavior," Dr. Grace said.

Dr. Grace says Olson is a good teacher and says it is the Constitution that will guide the situation.

"We have to follow the axim of our Constitution which is that individuals are innocent until proven guilty," Dr. Grace said.

We tried reaching District Attorney Jeri Marsolek as well as Brady Olson for comment but both attempts were unsuccessful.

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  • by Anonymous Location: Anonymous on Apr 10, 2012 at 05:51 PM
    I know this guy... and he is a very dedicated teacher and family man. I can't believe charged were brought against him. He is a science geek and sports nut... its no surprise he would do this and has done this in his very own class over the years. If your child gets a sunburn while playing outside at school do we charge teachers for that? What a joke and waste of money. It must have been some parent of one of these girls must suffer from anxiety and paranoia. Its sad that guy has been tarnished like this.
  • by terry Location: altoona on Mar 27, 2012 at 08:07 AM
    So who is paying for his defense? The teachers union kicking in some of our tax dollars? Or is he footing the bill all by himself? I bet some of the publics money is being used!! The school can't just fire him because of the teachers union!! So for him to be charged is the only option. I lived in that county for years and am surprised that the DA actually has the integrity to do anything. Let's watch and see what happens.
  • by Marie Location: Galesville on Mar 27, 2012 at 07:31 AM
    Come on people .... They are worse things that are going on in school , I believe I read one girl had a dime sized red mark on her leg , seriously ! This is a good teacher , which as we know are hard to come by these days . Get over it Jeri M. stop making a mountain out of a mole hill , I am guessing you want to pursue this as you have nothing else on your agenda?! You are going to ruin a mans career over this ? VERY SAD , VERY VERY SAD
  • by Anonymous on Mar 27, 2012 at 05:12 AM
    I’m betting he was punished in some sort of fashion when he was a child or perhaps it’s some sort of fascination for him. Either way it’s wrong.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 27, 2012 at 05:09 AM
    Come on, this wasn’t no science experiment; he was using this for a punishment!! His intent was to cause harm and that my friend is why it is wrong no matter what the reasoning. If the girls needed some corrective behavior for some malfeasance, then make them run or some other form of exercise which in turn help build their endurance to better themselves for competition.
  • by Bree Location: Trempealeau on Mar 26, 2012 at 09:58 PM
    I think that you people would be commenting differently if you knew thees girls. If it wasn't for Spaghetti dinner night at the High School, my sister would have had a burn on her leg. Imagine being a parent to one of these kids and having them come home with burns on their legs. Imagine being in their positions. I think that the charges fit what he did. It scares me to death thinking it could have been my little sister, young and not knowing. And I know most of these girls, I've seen the bruises. I think that it took the police department too long to press charges.
    • reply
      by Marie on Mar 27, 2012 at 09:48 AM in reply to Bree
      So if a child gets hurt playing a sport , broke leg, head injury , are we going to fire the coach for abuse?? This is out of hand , nothing here was done intentionally . Bad jugement yes , abuse NO !
  • by Jeff on Mar 25, 2012 at 08:08 PM
    POOR JUDGEMENT, that's the maximum charge.Anyone who pursues the charge any further is guilty of defamation of character or slander. Poor judgement is NOT a crime, slander and defamation of character IS. Of course the ones who are charging him could always plead INCOMPITENCE.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 25, 2012 at 06:27 PM
    Absolutely biggest waste of time and money yet. Isn't there any real criminals in that county? Got all the crime cleaned up? No drugs being sold, no drunks on the road? It was an accident during an experiment with dry ice. Too bad every time there is an accident there has to be someone standing around with their hand out looking for someone to sue or blame and a big check. Pretty sad. I was teaching my kid to ride a bike without training wheels and he took a big digger on a corner and scraped all the skin off his knee. Should I be charged with child endangerment for letting him get hurt? Maybe I should sue the bike manufacturer for making such a dangerous item for a child or the store for selling it to me. There is really a lack of common sense in the US.
  • by Tim Location: Eau Claire on Mar 25, 2012 at 03:43 PM
    Another reason adults don't want to be in charge of children....anything they say or do can be used against them in a court of law. Perhaps one parent is angry and the facts have become inflated, and the D.A. is pressured? This is a horrible way to end a career. He sounds like a fun coach! He will probably stop coaching even if found innocent.
  • by Tom on Mar 25, 2012 at 08:35 AM
    remember District Attorney Jeri Marsolek at election time.
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