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Saturday, June 15, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Teacher of the Year – Not!

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (CN) - After calling her son an idiot and slamming him into a table, a middle school teacher walked to the principal's office and tried to quit on the spot, the boy's mother claims in court.

Amalia Lucero sued the Rio Rancho Public School District and Ken Boyd on Oct. 2, in a civil rights complaint in Sandoval County Court.

Lucero claims that Boyd, a science teacher, lost his temper with her sixth-grade son in class. During class on Jan. 31, 2013, Lucero says, "Boyd became enraged and violent with [her son] M.A. and another student."

"Defendant Boyd grabbed M.A. by the collar of his shirt, choking him, and then slammed him backwards into a table," the complaint states.

"Defendant Boyd yelled, 'Shut up and sit down, you idiot' at M.A.," leaving the boy "terrified and crying," his mom says.

Boyd then told the class, "Look, he is crying; who is not a big boy now?" according to the complaint.

Boyd then dismissed the class and turned off the lights but made her son stay behind, "leaving M.A. alone inside the classroom and believing he was locked inside," Lucero says.

"Defendant Boyd immediately walked to the administration and attempted to resign from his teaching position," the mom says.

Boyd was put on paid administrative leave at least through April 2013, when he was charged with criminal assault. He pleaded guilty and is serving probation on a 12-month suspended sentence, according to the New Mexico Courts website.

Rio Rancho Public School District declined to comment.

Lucero seeks punitive damages for negligence and civil rights violations.

She is represented by Michael Hart, with Martinez, Hart & Thompson.

Experienced public school teachers told Courthouse News that it is not at all unusual for teachers to melt down in class and simply walk out and quit the profession.

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