Joyner Receives $2 Million Settlement from Aberdeen School District in Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Mike Lawson • December 2020News • December 11, 2020

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The Aberdeen School District will pay a $2,000,000 settlement to former student Maria Joyner following a sexual abuse case involving one of the district’s former band teachers, according to a report from ABC News.

The abuse started in 1989 from Joyner’s then-band teacher Michael Alstad, Joyner states.

Alstad, now 63, has commented that he did have sexual relations multiple times a week with Joyner when she was a high school junior, and that his sexual contact with her continued until Joyner went to college, despite her parents speaking with him. According to the lawsuit, Alstead used threats to continue the abuse.

Joyner, now 47, remained an active instrumentalist and taught in multiple Washington school districts, but quit after eight years as a music educator due to the trauma of what happened to her in high school. She will be paid $2,000,000 from the school district’s insurance, ABC News reports.

Alstad has a long career in music and music education, including working in Washington’s Sunnyside and Cheney school districts, teaching band at Port Townsend High School, leading the North Battleford City Kinsmen Band in Saskatchewan, Canada, and directing Seattle’s Around The Sound Community Band.

When Alstad took the position at Port Townsend High School, Joyner says she filed a complaint with the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; in response, Alstad surrendered his teaching certificate in 2006, according to ABC News.

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