Teacher investigated for dispute with student

A School District 51 teacher is the focus of a police investigation in the wake of allegations that a student was shoved and knocked to the ground in front of classmates.

The fifth-grade instructor at Chipeta Elementary School was placed on paid administrative leave Monday, District 51 spokesman Jeff Kirtland said.

Grand Junction Police Department spokeswoman Kate Porras said District 51 officials called them Friday afternoon to report an incident between a student and teacher at Chipeta Elementary.

She did not elaborate but said an investigation remained active as of Wednesday.

Clifton resident Hank Tafoya said his 11-year-old nephew was involved in the incident.

Tafoya said the teacher in question had confronted his nephew about using an MP3 player while in class Friday.

The boy denied using the device in class, at which point the confrontation became physical, Tafoya said. He claimed the teacher pushed the boy twice, causing him to fall into a bookshelf in the classroom.

“All of this happened in front of the kids,” Tafoya said.

Porras said officers had yet to interview numerous students and adults who are possible witnesses.


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