A teacher who hit a 10-year-old boy in the face with a book during class at a Grand Junction elementary school has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless endangerment.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports 66-year-old Harold Easton entered his plea Friday and will be sentenced Feb. 14. Prosecutors dismissed more serious charges of child abuse and third-degree assault.

Easton says he lost his temper with a group of disruptive students while he was substitute teaching Oct. 4 at Chatfield Elementary, and he smacked the fourth-grader with a teacher's instructional book.

Easton, who's been a teacher or administrator in the school district for 32 years, was apologetic during an interview with the newspaper. He retired from a full-time position in 2005 and says he will no longer substitute teach.