Teacher aide on unpaid administrative leave after seventh grader says he was grabbed inappropriately

13-year-old says aide grabbed him in bear hug

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A teacher's aide in Colorado Springs is on unpaid administrative leave after a seventh grader accused him of inappropriate contact.

The 13-year-old student at Galileo School for Math and Science told his father that the substitute educational assistant grabbed him from behind and tried pulling him from his desk.

"Pretty much, he said that he was bear-hugged and squeezed from behind and then tried to be picked up out of the chair," the teen's father, Anthony Vargas, told 7NEWS. "Apparently, he let go of my son right away after the other teacher told him to."

According to Vargas, the school contacted him and let him know about the incident which happened before school let out on Thursday.

"The school definitely said that they don't want him back at that school anymore, at all," said Vargas.

"The principal dealt with the situation and then called in Human Resources and (Colorado Springs School) District 11 security and CSPD (Colorado Springs Police) was notified as well," said school district spokeswoman Devra Ashby.

Vargas said his son was cleaning his desk when the teacher's aide walked by and mistook a comment made by another classmate as something his son said.

"He's all, 'Just leave us alone,' and then that's when the teacher grabbed my son from behind," said Vargas. "I don't feel that anybody should touch anybody else's kid, more or less just try to pick them up out of the desk."

The teacher's aide was put on unpaid administrative leave within hours.

Vargas took his son to the emergency room at Penrose Hospital.

"My son was complaining a lot about his ribs hurting," said Vargas.

He said the doctors recommended icing the sore areas.

"Even the school said that they would pay for the doctor bill," said Vargas. "The principal said that they would be behind on whatever they needed to take care of, so that way it would make it right."

According to Ashby, that is still to be determined by the district's risk management department.

"Anytime any student feels threatened or makes any type of allegations, we do take student safety very seriously," said Ashby. "It is a serious allegation and we do our best to investigate all sides, get all kinds of witness detail if possible and make sure that we get to the bottom of it."

Police are investigating the incident, but according to the district, officers did not come to the school Thursday afternoon.

"I want to press charges for sure," said Vargas. "I want to make sure this doesn't happen to another kid."

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