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Civil suit against Butte Central Schools, others is settled

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Butte Central Catholic

Butte Central High School, 9 S. Idaho St.

A Butte couple’s lawsuit alleging that a former Butte Central High School math teacher engaged in sexual activities with students and accusing Butte Central Schools and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena of negligence has been settled.

Lawrence Henke, an attorney for the couple, filed a court notice Thursday saying the case had been “fully settled” between all the parties. The couple had a son at the school.

Henke told The Montana Standard on Friday he could not divulge any financial details or any other facets of the settlement but did say it resulted from a court-ordered mediation and he was pleased it was resolved.

“Litigation is a very imperfect way to attempt to resolve disputes and finality is good for everyone involved,” he said.

Don Peoples Jr., president of Butte Central Schools, said the only thing he could say was the claim had been settled “to the mutual satisfaction of all parties.” When asked if the math teacher was still at Central, he said no but could comment no further.

The teacher, Brad Kadrmas, has not been charged criminally with any felonies in this or any other matter in Butte-Silver Bow County in recent years, according to court records, and was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Henke has declined to say why he wasn’t named as a defendant and did so again Friday. But he also said he was not aware of any criminal charges against Brad Kadrmas arising from the lawsuit.

The suit did name his wife, Amy Kadrmas, as a defendant, along with the high school, Butte Central Schools, the diocese in Helena and the Roman Catholic bishop in Helena. The settlement includes all of them.

John and Heather Stenson filed the lawsuit in District Court in Butte in July 2020 alleging that Brad and Amy Kadrmas gave alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana to minors while Brad worked as a teacher at the high school. They lived in a dormitory on school grounds at the time.

Prosecutors charged Amy Kadrmas with two felony counts of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs on or near school property, and two misdemeanors, but that criminal case is still pending.

The civil lawsuit said the Kadrmases targeted minors and Butte Central students and groomed them for abuse “through the introduction of alcohol, providing cigarettes as a gateway to marijuana use,” and that led to drug addiction and sexual exploitation.

It said Brad Kadrmas had sexual contact or relations with two female students and “was able to keep the minors silent through intimidation and a scheme of trading grades for silence as to his conduct.”

The suit alleged that Butte Central and the diocese did not do a thorough background check of the Kadrmases and said Central was negligent in not providing better oversight of the couple and their interactions with students.

Just after the lawsuit was filed in July 2020, Peoples and the diocese said they contacted police as soon as they learned of the allegations.

Heather Stenson told the Standard in July 2020 that she and her husband weren’t trying to get a lot of money from Butte Central or the diocese, only unused tuition for one of their sons and payment for counseling sessions he was taking in relation to the events.

But details in the final settlement are not public.

A mother from the Lytton First Nation in Coquitlam, B.C., says she was in disbelief after her son was sent home with a headdress craft made on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

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