Chandler teacher under fire for misconduct in the classroom

Posted at 9:24 PM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-13 01:23:11-04

A Chandler teacher is under fire for allegedly hitting students and calling them names.

The mother of a Hamilton High School student recently filed a report against Spanish teacher Colleen Mendoza. 

A student told police that Mendoza "Slaps our papers off our desk, or pull our hair, or slap us in the back of the head," a police report said. The student alleged that Mendoza will do this when "she's bored and has nothing to do."

A second student in Mendoza's class told officers that the teacher would play with his hair, but there was no hitting or smacking involved. However, the student said he has seen Mendoza push items off of other students' desks but explained that it's all just "messing around."

While some students think she’s joking — others are calling her a methods bullying.

A third student told officers that he has witnessed Mendoza calling students "stupid" and yelling at others to shut up. 

According to the police report, Mendoza admitted to lightly tapping students on the head playfully but when asked if this action could be misinterpreted by students she replied, "maybe."

Police said there's not enough evidence to file criminal charges against the teacher.

However, the mother, who originally filed the police report, doesn't think it's OK.

"She needs to take accountability for her actions and keep her hands to her damn self," she said. 

The allegations come on the heels of a hazing scandal at the same high school. In March, 17-year-old Nathaniel Thomas was arrested for alleged hazing that occurred between September 2015 to January 2017 in the team's locker room.

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According to prosecutors, during at least one of the incidents Thomas used a finger to sexually penetrate another player.

Chandler Unified School District says Mendoza has been counseled to avoid actions that could be "misconstrued by others."