Shmuck of the Week: Kent Jones, band teacher

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Enduring the ear-drum-shattering sounds of a freshmen band is bound to drive any man crazy. And it seems to have done just that to Kent Jones, the band teacher at Louisville's Monarch High School.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, police are investigating allegations that Jones -- fed up with the "class from hell" -- hit students, forced them to do push-ups, talked openly about their grades, and was otherwise abusive.

From the Camera:

The February hitting incident marks the third time Louisville police have investigated student-abuse allegations against Jones, according to police reports. He has been teaching for 20 years since graduating from the University of Denver as a piano major and earning a master's degree from the University of Colorado in choral conducting, according to police and Monarch High's Web site.

The first incident occurred in May 2006 when a student said that he and Jones got into an argument during class, and Jones "forcefully shoved his chest into the student's chest," according to police. Jones became so agitated that he began screaming and spitting in the student's face, according to police. The teacher wasn't arrested or cited in the case because the student didn't want to press charges, police said.

The second incident happened in October 2007 when an adult reported seeing Jones slap a student on the shoulder and on the back of the head. Jones explained that he was "tapping" the student to teach the student to count notes but admitted that he might have been tapping harder "due to his frustration," according to police.

The school district sent Jones a letter of reprimand for that incident, ordering him to "avoid all physical contact with students" and to "avoid any use of inappropriate language with students and staff."

In a written statement to police, the alleged victim in the most recent incident said Jones smacked him in the head as he was walking to the piano.

"I was stunned," the student wrote. "I don't know why he smacked me."

You sort of expect every teacher to snap now and then, but Jones seems to have made a habit out of pushing the boundaries with his students. And now people are pushing back.

So, in hopes of helping save tomorrow's band members from further abuse, we hereby bestow upon Mr. Jones this week's Shmuck honor. Although he nearly avoided it by explaining that the students in question "would rather be eating doughnuts" -- which makes no sense but is really funny -- in the end, he's just too shmucky to ignore.

Meet more shmucks in our Shmuck of the Week archive.

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