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Mesa County Teacher Issued Felony Summons for Alleged Child Abuse

Redlands Middle School teacher accused of assault in January incident

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - A felony summons was issued on Friday for a Grand Valley teacher accused of assault and child abuse at a local school.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is confirming that Kent Clinkingbeard, 58, of Whitewater is accused of assault in the third degree of an at-risk person (a Class 6 felony), child abuse, second-degree criminal tampering and harassment.

Authorities say an incident involving Clinkingbeard happened at Redlands Middle School on or about January 25.

Officials with School District 51 say they learned of the incident on February 1 and immediately placed the teacher on administrative leave.

The felony summons orders Clinkingbeard to appear before the court in April.

District 51 administrators say the allegations against Clinkingbeard are serious and, if true, would be grounds for dismissal.

But school officials say the law does not allow the district to dismiss or withhold pay from a teacher without following a series of due process procedures, including notice and an opportunity for a hearing.  Officials say these procedures often take months to complete.

School District 51 is examining the facts of this incident and Clinkingbeard's employment status is under review.

Clinkingbeard was hired by the district in 2001, working as a special needs teacher at Fruita Monument High School for nearly a decade.  He transferred to a similar position at Redlands Middle School in August of 2011.

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