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Formerly accused mediator no longer at BCPS

Despite both Northern Community Mediation and Boyne City Public Schools officials having previously claimed they were unconcerned by the lengthy accusations of sexual harassment recently uncovered at his former workplace, former Charlevoix County Friend of the Court and recent Boyne City Public Schools Restorative Practices Mediator (through Northern Mediation) Jim Raber will no longer be working at the school system.

On Wednesday July 17, Boyne City Gazette reported detailed allegations which suggested years of near-daily sexual harassment by Raber against an unnamed coworker.

“In a meeting on 7-19-19, Jim Raber was notified that his contract with Northern Community Mediation would not be renewed,” said Boyne City Public Schools Superintendent Pat Little in a Thursday Aug. 8 statement to the Boyne City Gazette. “The District appreciates the two years of service to our students in which Mr. Raber performed his duties in a professional manner. The district looks to continue … our working relationship with Northern Mediation if they find a qualified candidate.”

Boyne City Gazette’s Freedom of Information request for documents relating to the 2016 Charlevoix County Human Resources Department investigation into allegations of sexual harassment revealed that, in a January 2016 statement, the alleged victim claimed Raber commented on her appearance daily, sat uncomfortably close, asked her what color her undergarments were each day so he could, “start his day with that knowledge,” made sexual motions with his hand, told her to stand on a chair and turn around if she wanted his attention “work-wise,” rubbed and touched her legs, buttocks, shoulders, hair, unzipped his pants, asked for oral sex, and routinely propositioned her for sex—in addition to a number of other alleged overtly sexual gestures and comments.

Little said he did not anticipate the issue to be discussed any further at the Monday Aug. 12 school board meeting.

In the July 17 article, Little told Boyne City Gazette that he had heard about the allegations against Raber back in 2017 when Raber originally came to work with the school.

Little also said that he had asked Northern Community Mediation Executive Director Jane Millar, back in 2017, about the allegations and that she “investigated” them and found them to be “unsubstantiated.”

In a Monday Aug. 12 statement to Boyne City Gazette, Millar said, “Through mutual agreement, Mr. Raber is no longer serving as the Restorative Practices (RP) Coordinator at Boyne City High School, nor is he mediating for Northern Community Mediation (NCM).”

Regarding the restorative practices program, Millar stated, “Because the RP Mediation Program has been highly effective, NCM is actively searching for a qualified RP Coordinator to begin working at Boyne City High School this coming school year.”

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