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Thursday, October 29, 2009
Teacher Fired for Sex With Student
By Andrea Schoellkopf
Journal Staff Writer
A Jimmy Carter Middle School teacher was fired Wednesday after admitting a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old boy who is a seventh-grader at the school, officials said.
Kristy Sanchez-Trujillo, a social studies teacher, was placed on paid leave Wednesday morning, then terminated later in the day based on her admission, according to Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Winston Brooks.
Albuquerque police questioned Sanchez-Trujillo, witnesses and the boy on Wednesday after accusations surfaced that the teacher was involved in an "inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a student," APD spokeswoman Nadine Hamby said.
A letter to the staff of the West Side school near Unser and Central said the student had made the accusation. APS spokeswoman Monica Armenta said a school administrator had received a tip on Tuesday.
No charges had been filed Wednesday night.
A "discharge hearing" was held Wednesday afternoon, and Sanchez-Trujillo was fired afterward, Brooks said. She has five days to appeal. It was not clear whether Sanchez-Trujillo was the boy's teacher, APS officials said.
"I think it should be made clear that inappropriate behavior such as this by school employees will not be tolerated, period," Brooks said in a telephone interview from Portland, Ore. "... I'm all in favor of due process, but in this particular case, she's confessed."
"In my mind, when a teacher confesses to having a sexual relationship with a minor, there's not much to think about."
Brooks said letters were being sent to Jimmy Carter faculty and parents, and a district crisis team was expected to be dispatched to the school today to work with faculty and students.
Court records indicate that Sanchez-Trujillo was divorced last summer. She describes herself on her Facebook page as the 33-year-old daughter of Bernalillo County sheriff candidate Cris Sanchez.
She began teaching in 1999 as a first-grade teacher at Atrisco Elementary, where she worked until August 2004. She went on leave to pursue her master's degree and returned to work in December 2007 at Jimmy Carter Middle School. She is also listed as a dance instructor.
Cris Sanchez said he had no comment.