Fruita 8/9 teacher put on leave for harassing student

By: Sara Zendehnam Email
By: Sara Zendehnam Email

FRUITA, Colo. The teacher in question is Jerry Baker. District 51 officials said he teaches social studies and has been with the District since 1999. That is until he was put on paid administrative leave for his actions.

On April 28th The Fruita Police Department got a complaint about a situation between a teacher and student. Upon investigating they issued Baker a summons for harassment.

Harassment is defined as striking, shoving or pushing someone with intent to harass, alarm or annoy. This is different from assault as that is physical contact with the intent to cause pain or injury.

Fruita PD officials said the difference is determined after talking to the student to see if they are in pain along with a physical inspection by the police.

For someone in this situation coming forward is the best thing you can do.

"A student has an interaction with a teacher that he does not feel is appropriate it's best to speak to your parents about it and speak to the administration at school about it," John Coughran, FPD.

District 51 officials said they have launched an internal investigation to review the details of the situation.

"Hitting a student is unacceptable so that's definitely something that we take into account," Christy McGee, District 51.

Baker has been on paid leave since April 29th and will continue that status until the conclusion of the investigation, which is when officials will decide what further actions need to be taken.

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