Substitute Teacher Slaps Student and is Sentenced to Probation

Clovis, NM – Ninth Judicial District Attorney, Quentin Ray, announced that on February 20, 2024, Javier Gonzalez, age 59, of Clovis, was found guilty by a jury of Battery.

On February 2, 2022, Officer Casillas with the Clovis Police Department responded to Clovis High School in reference to a battery. Javier Gonzalez, who had been hired 6 months prior as a permanent substitute teacher, had slapped a student (18 yrs of age) which was captured on a security camera.

A student in Gonzalez’s class was told by Gonzalez to put his cell phone away. The student refused to put his phone away and was told by Gonzalez to go to the principal’s office. While in the process of writing a slip for the office for the student, Gonzalez reached for the student’s phone to take it from him. The student pulled away and walked out of the classroom to go to the office. Gonzalez followed the student out of the classroom into the hallway where the argument continued, and Gonzalez told the student that he needed to respect him. The student reached for eyeglasses in Gonzalez’s pocket. Gonzalez took a step toward the student, getting close to his face, and slapped him with an open hand across his face. The student, stunned, walked away toward the office. Afterwards, Gonzalez stated to Officer Casillas that his actions were “unbecoming.”

Magistrate Judge Vanderdussen presided over the trial.  Gonzalez was given a conditional discharge with 6 months of probation and an anger management course. Judge Vanderdussen cited to Gonzalez’s military experience and training as a mitigating factor in granting a conditional discharge.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney, Gina Nunez, and Gonzalez was represented by criminal defense attorney, Dallas Alfaro of the Law Office of the Public Defender.

For more information, please contact the Office of the District Attorney, at 575-769-2246.