Superintendent of Lake Superior School District Jay Belcastro claims that after a diligent searching, they can find nothing that indicates that disgraced mayor and now-admitted sex offender Chris Swanson was either a student or an employee of the school district. Yet the evidence posted below, including district newsletters, meeting minutes and Two Harbors H.S. yearbook photos, indicates otherwise. Is Superintendent Belcastro publicly lying about the school’s – and his – association with Chris Swanson? Does cronyism trump child safety in Two Harbors, MN? By Sean Kelly
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) UnhappyFranchisee.Com helped expose Two Harbors, MN’s dirty little: That its now-recalled mayor Chris Swanson is a sex offender who was arrested and sentenced for sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl when he was 15.
What had been an “open secret” hidden by sealed juvenile records was confirmed by Swanson himself in an interview with the Star Tribune.
The next logical rumor to investigate was that the sex offender Swanson had been subsequently hired as Two Harbors High School soccer coach by Lake Superior School District – which covers both Silver Bay (where the assaults occurred) and Two Harbors (where swanson later became mayor).
Our recent post Does Lake Superior School District Hire Sex Offenders? contains the letter of inquiry we sent to Superintendent Jay Belcastro about Christopher Swanson’s employment by or involvement with Lake Superior School District.
Here’s my original August 8 Letter to Superintendent Belcastro
You can read Jay Belcastro’s (in my opinion) disingenuous & defiant response letter here:
My letter refuting Belcastro’s claims that Swanson never worked for the Lake Superior School District: Second Letter to Jay Belcastro
Did Chris Swanson Teach Computer & Soccer Classes for Lake Superior School District?
Superintendent Belcastro’s letter states:
Request: Any data mentioning Mr. Swanson’s involvement in the “extension program for soccer and computer instruction (as Pure Driven)”.
Response: The School District does not have and is unaware of any “extension program” it ever offered in soccer and computer instruction and, therefore, cannot locate any data responsive to your request absent clarification of the data you are seeking.
Our research indicates:
Lists of courses published in the school district’s “Good News” newsletters between 2013 and 2016 include one adult soccer class taught by Chris Swanson and nearly 20 computer and Internet-related courses with Swanson’s company “Pure Driven” listed as instructor (See screenshots). The Sept. 2014 newsletter appears to have been deleted from the district’s website.
Question for Mr. Belcastro: Can you please explain this seeming contradiction?
Was Chris Swanson Approved & Hired as a Volunteer by Lake Superior School District?
Superintendent Jay Belcastro’s letter states:
Request: Copies of any meeting minutes and/or other documentation related to the School District’s employment of Mr. Swanson.
Response: The School District made a diligent search of its records and was not able to locate any evidence that Mr. Swanson was ever employed by the School District in any capacity. Therefore, the School District has no data responsive to your request.
Our research indicates:
The minutes for the regular meeting of the School Board of Lake Superior Independent School District No. 381 held on Thursday, February 14, 2013, 6:00 p.m. (attached0 contains the following entry:
Additions or Corrections to the Consent Agenda:
… Approve recommendation to hire Chris Swanson, volunteer NASA & Agate Robotics. (Carried Unanimously)
Question for Mr. Belcastro: I understand that “Chris Swanson” is a common name. Was this the same Chris Swanson recently recalled as mayor, or perhaps a different Chris Swanson?
Was Sex Offender Chris Swanson Approved & Hired as Boy’s Soccer Coach for Two Harbors High School 2001-2002?
In his letter, Superintendent Jay Belcastro states:
The School District made a diligent search of its records and was not able to locate any evidence that Mr. Swanson was ever employed by the School District in any capacity. Therefore, the School District has no data responsive to your request.
Our research indicates:
The 2001 Two Harbors High School Yearbook (“Nor Easter”) includes a photograph for the Boy’s Soccer team that includes a picture of Chris Swanson and the caption “Coach Chris Swanson.”
The 2002 Two Harbors High School Yearbook (“Nor Easter”) includes a photograph on the page titled “Boys and Girls Soccer” that includes a picture of Chris Swanson and the caption “Coach Chris Swanson.”
Swanson would have been around 26 at the time… about ten years after his arrest and less than ten years after his probation period.
Question for Mr. Belcastro: Can you explain this contradiction?
Is the National Civility Association Belcastro Founded With Chris Swanson Still Active?
Shortly after I referenced the National Civility Association website Superintendent Jay Belcastro founded with (now-admitted) sex offender Chris Swanson and Janelle Jones, the website was taken offline.
Earlier this year, the association stopped accepting donations.
Question for Superintendent Belcastro: Will Chris Swanson continue to be invited into Lake Superior School District schools as part of the NCA, and to work shoulder-to-shoulder with students? Is your National Civility Association still active? Or is it being closed permanently?
I have written to Superintendent Belcastro with these questions as well as an invitation for any corrections, clarifications, explanation, rebuttals of other statements he or the School District which to make.
His response will be published when received.
Read the Index of our Two Harbors posts here:
Nancy Christenson Video*
*Warning: These videos contains content that could be triggering or distressing to sexual trauma survivors
On the lighter side:
Tags: Jay Belcastro, Lake Superior School District, Two Harbors School District, Superintendent Belcastro, Christopher Swanson, Chris Swanson, Soccer coach Chris Swanson, Mayor Chris Swanson, Two Harbors MN, molestation, child rape, Sexual Assault, sexual violence, Janelle Jones, National Civility Association, , #JusticeforMarksDrive, PureDriven,