Police: Athens elementary school staff members help prevent intruder from entering school
A woman faces several charges stemming from an incident at an elementary school in Athens.
Athens police say Tashea Gordon was acting "erratically" at North City Elementary School Wednesday.
Gordon was pacing the lobby, screaming loudly and calling for help, police said.
A school staff member tried to speak with Gordon, but she then tried to force her way into a secure area of the school that houses classrooms and students.
"Several staff members struggled with the woman to prevent her from entering the school, while another staff member called 911," police explained.
Several school staff members suffered minor injuries during the struggle.
One officer arrived at the school around a minute after being dispatched, and others also responded and helped take Gordon into custody.
Gordon was taken to an area hospital for treatment. According to jail officials, she has been booked into the McMinn County Jail. Police say her charges include three counts of assault and one count of disorderly conduct.
During the incident, the school was placed on lockdown. Police said an assembly was held at the school later that day to talk about what had taken place.
"Once the situation was resolved and Ms. Gordon was removed from the scene, an assembly was conducted to discuss what had happened with the students," police explained.
A school resource officer and guidance counselor were at the assembly to help students understand and process the information.
Police officers were also at the school for the remainder of the day.
"I'm proud of the quick response by our officers and the courage shown by the staff at the school that put the safety of their students above their own. While we don't yet know why this suspect was trying to force her way in the school, it's obvious she had no business being there. Nothing is more important than the safety of our children," Athens Police Cheif Couch said.
Athens City School Superintendent Dr. Melanie Miller also applauded school staff on how they handled the situation"
"We appreciate the quick response of school staff and police officers. We practice lockdowns to be prepared for this exact type of situation. I'm proud of the students and North City for following our lockdown procedures."
The investigation is ongoing.