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Douglas County School District. (Photo: DCSD)

Douglas County Teacher Jailed for Stalking

Teacher Michael Ismari was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years probation

By Megan Barth, February 8, 2024 11:09 am

Back in June, The Nevada Globe broke the news that Douglas County school teacher Michael Ismari had been arrested for stalking. After his arrest, we obtained additional information, provided by a source, that Ismari had a criminal record, dating back to 1996, related to multiple stalking charges and violations of subsequent restraining order.

Last week, Ismari was sentenced to 30 days in jail for stalking in the Tahoe Township Justice Court. Justice of the Peace Michael Johnson also ordered Ismari to pay $697.22 in restitution.

“We all look for clues in relationships, we all look for cues of what the other person thinks about us,” Johnson said. “Somebody allowing a temporary order of protection to expire is not an indication that they want to have a relationship. This person didn’t want to have contact with you and was clear about that in a variety of ways.”

Ismari’s victim told the court, “Being stalked is the one of the most terrifying experiences in my life,” she said. “You violated my privacy and felt entitled to make intrusions into my life after I asked you not to. You caused me months of constant fear and depression.”

Michael Ismari booking photo. (Credit: DCSO)

Ismari’s lengthy disciplinary record within the Washoe County School district was exposed in a lawsuit filed by Attorney’s Joey Gilbert and Sigal Chattah.

Back in March, The Globe reported: “The lawsuit filed against WCSD by Attorneys Sigal Chattah and Joe Gilbert alleges that Mr. Ismari “targeted Minor Plaintiff because of his race and specific disability because he struggles with controlling his anger, which is why Ismari antagonized him. Ismari has a history of targeting students, especially male students of color, where Ismari would follow and antagonize them, knowing they have disabilities and difficult behaviors.”

The lawsuit alleges that Ismari bullied, harassed, discriminated against and physically assaulted/battered a disabled child, and further reveals:

“Ismari has a disciplinary record that starts as early as 2011, where he was alleged, on numerous occasions, over many years, to have exhibited unprofessional behavior, and carried out unacceptable conduct, been insubordinate, failed to follow established guidelines, directives, and protocols, where Ismari showed inadequate performance, and violated WCSD administrative guidelines for a safe and respectful learning environment….Mr. Ismari was investigated for the same on at least: March 2011, September 2011, November 2011, September 2012, November 2013, and May 2014,” the lawsuit claims.

Despite his disciplinary record and lawsuit, George Whittell High School in Douglas County hired Ismari as a teacher

When Ismari obtained a teaching position at George Whittell High School, concerned parents had contacted the Globe to alert us to his hiring and further revealed that he had at least one active restraining order against him. Due to the fact that the restraining order was active, The Globe contacted the Douglas County School District and spoke to Joseph Girdner, Executive Director of Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator, who explained that the District performed a background check on Ismari and that the district was aware of a civil lawsuit in which Ismari is accused of abusing a disabled child. The background check cleared Ismari for employment.

Joseph Girdner is now Director of Human Resources at the Storey County School District. Ismari has since resigned from the district.

Following his release, Ismari will be on probation for two years, with conditions, including having no contact with the victim.

He will also be required to pay restitution for court costs incurred and can have no alcohol or firearms. His cell phone must also be checked at random by probation officers. He will also be monitored by GPS.

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