North High School teacher Tim Hernández put on leave after joining student walkout

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Denver Public Schools placed North High School teacher Tim Hernández on paid administrative leave Friday after he marched with students who had organized a school walkout to protest the failure to renew the beloved Latino teacher’s contract.

Rita Haecker, executive director of the Denver Classroom Teacher Association, said she was present for the meeting Friday at which Hernández was placed on paid leave pending an investigation.

Haecker said DPS leadership told Hernández the administrative leave was put in place because he left his classroom duties to march with his students. Three weeks are left in the school year.

Scott Pribble, a DPS spokesman, confirmed Hernández was placed on paid administrative leave effective immediately, but declined to discuss the matter further, saying it was a personnel matter.

Hernández declined to comment on the situation.

Daniela Urbina-Valle, an 18-year-old student of Hernández’s, marched in the walkout Friday.

“It’s disheartening and infuriating that he won’t be in the classroom these last few weeks because he is some kids’ only support system and administration is taking that away,” Urbina-Valle said. “Administration is not going to hear the end of this. This is not just about Mr. Hernández. It’s about our voices not being listened to, as well.”

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