Fruita teacher on leave in student probe

A Fruita 8/9 teacher was placed on paid leave April 29 after allegedly hitting a student, authorities said Monday.

Jerry Baker was issued a municipal court ticket on suspicion of misdemeanor harassment, Fruita police Sgt. Kevin Paquette said.

School District 51 spokeswoman Christy McGee confirmed Monday that Baker has been placed on leave but said she could not confirm details of the incident pending an investigation. She did say the incident involved possible physical contact between Baker and a student.

“Hitting kids is unacceptable. If that is what happened here, it will not be tolerated,” McGee said. “Based on what we find, we’ll act accordingly.”

Baker teaches social studies at the school and has worked in District 51 since 1999. He was placed on paid leave pending an investigation in accordance with state statute.

Baker is the second Fruita 8/9 teacher to be placed on paid leave this school year. Randy Majors was placed on leave Nov. 4 following allegations that he solicited topless photos from students through Facebook.

Majors quit his teaching position in February, after his arrest, and collected $13,873 from the district while on leave.


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