Teacher-student probe goes to DA

An investigation focusing on allegations that a School District 51 teacher shoved a student to the ground has been sent to the Mesa County District Attorney’s office for review, Grand Junction Police Department spokeswoman Kate Porras said.

The fifth-grade instructor at Chipeta Elementary School at the center of the probe was placed on paid administrative leave Jan. 31, and his status has not changed, according to District 51.

Police were called to the school late in the afternoon Jan. 28 after administration reported an incident between a teacher and student.

A Clifton resident, Hank Tafoya, said his 11-year-old nephew was involved in the incident. He claimed the teacher involved confronted his nephew about using an MP3 player in the classroom.

Tafoya alleged the confrontation became physical after the boy denied using the device and was pushed by the teacher twice. The boy fell backward into a bookshelf, Tafoya said.

The incident occurred in the classroom in front of other students, he said.

Charlie Kaiser, a Denver attorney who represents members of the Colorado Education Association, declined comment Thursday on Tafoya’s claims or the investigation. Kaiser represents the teacher under investigation in the Chipeta incident.


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