Fruita teacher investigated over reported misconduct

A male teacher at Fruita 8/9 School is on leave amid a police investigation into allegations he sent inappropriate messages to his former students, several high-school-aged girls, via Facebook, authorities said Thursday.

Fruita Police Chief Mark Angelo said the teacher, who wasn’t identified, came under scrutiny Nov. 1 after the mother of a 16-year-old student, a girl at Fruita Monument High School, formally reported to police her daughter had received messages from a former teacher.

Angelo characterized the messages as “solicitation,” but declined to go further because of the investigation.

The teacher was interviewed by a detective Nov. 2 and voluntarily surrendered his computer, Angelo said.

“We believe we have contacted all the parents of female students he may have sent inappropriate Facebook messages to,” he said.

District 51 spokeswoman Christy McGee said the teacher was placed on leave Nov. 4.

Tim Leon, safety and transportation director for District 51, said teachers who are the focus of any police investigation are routinely placed on paid administrative leave until law enforcement presents findings to the district.

Leon said District 51 will conduct its own investigation when police present their information to school district officials.


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