Students: Ex-OPS teacher Shad Knutson put suggestive requests on Post-Its -
Published Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 2:00 am / Updated at 12:47 am
Students: Ex-OPS teacher Shad Knutson put suggestive requests on Post-Its

Three girls have testified so far in Douglas County District Court against their former social studies teacher, Shad Knutson.

Three Post-It notes, found in Knutson's classroom garbage can, had something to say, too, in the third day of his trial.

The students said Knutson, a former Omaha Public Schools middle school teacher, often wrote on Post-It notes, sometimes asking for inappropriate photos or acts. He then would crumple up the sticky notes and throw them in the trash.

School officials looking into one student's complaints found these notes crumpled in Knutson's garbage can:

“Last night was awesome R U mad?”

“Tell me ... Then u can have it.”

And this: “You gonna let me feel”

Public Defender Tom Riley argued that prosecutors had no foundation for the notes — and couldn't even say for certain that Knutson wrote them or that, if he did, he was referring to students.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, said the notes further demonstrated Knutson's inappropriate contact with his students. The notes often followed comments or actions in which Knutson would seek out either lewd pictures or sex acts from the girls, ages 13 and 14, prosecutor Brenda Beadle said.

A third student testified Friday that Knutson promised her a B if she sent him a picture of “these.” Knutson pointed at the girl's chest in a photo, she said. She said she was wearing a tank top in the photo.

Unlike the other students who have testified, Knutson's antics didn't last for long with the third student, who was 14 at the time.

Knutson, 36, has pleaded not guilty and is expected to testify.

A jury of three men and nine women will decide whether he's guilty of two counts of child abuse, two counts of sexual contact and one count of enticing a child with an electronic device. If convicted, he would face three to 70 years in prison. (Knutson originally was charged with seven felonies, but prosecutors have dropped two.)

Two other students have testified that Knutson, an eighth-grade teacher, made similar promises, sexual advances and obscene gestures toward them when they were 13.

Riley, who has pulled no punches with the girls, picked at the third student's account. He noted her disciplinary record at the school — which was littered with a number of reprimands and at least one suspension.

The girl said Knutson was the problem, not her. She said she caught Knutson scrolling through pictures on her phone during class one day.

On another day, she asked to go to the bathroom. Knutson asked for her phone. She took her battery out and gave it to him because, she said, she didn't want him scrolling through her pictures again.

He told her to give him the battery, too, or he'd refer her to the office. She said she'd take the office referral.

She told her mom, who had her write down what happened on a piece of paper.

“Mr. Knutson said, 'I want this one.' He points at my (breasts) in a picture (and says) 'I want these,'” she wrote, according to prosecutors.

Soon after, the girl said, she had to go to Knutson's class after school to make up a standardized test. She went up to Knutson to ask him a question. He said he couldn't help her.

However, she said, he held up a bright orange sticky note. (Administrators never found that note.)

This is what it said, according to the girl: “If you send me a picture, you'll get a B.”

The girl said she was disgusted and refused. She stormed out of Knutson's room, without finishing the test, and went home, she said.


“I don't feel like a teacher should be talking to a student like that,” the girl testified.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1275,

Contact the writer: Todd Cooper    |   402-444-1275

Todd covers courts and legal issues for The World-Herald.

Crack ring's leaders join others in prison as part of Operation Purple Haze convictions
Saturday forecast opens window for gardening; Easter egg hunts look iffy on Sunday
Last day of 2014 Legislature: Praise, passage of a last few bills and more on mountain lions
A voice of experience: Ex-gang member has helped lead fight against Omaha violence
The thrill of the skill: Omaha hosts statewide contest for students of the trades
Intoxicated man with pellet gun climbs billboard's scaffold; is arrested
'The war is not over,' Chambers says, but legislative session about is
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
Teen killed at Gallagher Park was shot in head as he sat in SUV, friend who was wounded says
When judge asks, Nikko Jenkins says ‘I killed them’
New UNO center strengthens ties between campus, community
Threat found in Millard West bathroom deemed 'not credible'
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Nebrasks health officials to advertise jobs via drive-thru
Coral Walker named Omaha police officer of the year
Sarah Palin, Mike Lee coming to Nebraska for Ben Sasse rally
Prescription drug drop-off is April 26
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Rather than doing $250K in repairs, owner who lives in lot behind 94-year-old house in Dundee razes it
NB 30th Street lane closed
State Patrol, Omaha police conduct vehicle inspections
Bernie Kanger formally promoted to Omaha fire chief
U.S. House incumbents have deeper pockets than their challengers
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
< >
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
Jessica Lutton Bedient was killed by a drunken driver at age 26 in 2010. Thursday, the widowed husband and other family members will gather with others at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to dedicate a permanent memorial to Jessica.
Breaking Brad: How much would you pay for a corn dog?
The Arizona Diamondbacks have a new concession item: a $25 corn dog. For that kind of money, it should be stuffed with Bitcoin.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »