An after-school assistant in California was arrested after some bizarre behavior, including barricading several students into a classroom, taking off her clothes and upending desks, according San Diego County Sheriff's officials.
At about 4 p.m. Wednesday, Linda Lira, 31, started acting strangely at Lemon Grove Academy and shut herself into a room with students.
Law enforcement was eventually able to take Lira into custody, and she was first transported to the hospital for evaluation.
On Thursday, investigators returned to the school and interviewed students to count her offenses. Lira was taken to Las Colinas Woman's Detention Facility on 14 felony counts of child endangerment and 14 felony counts of false imprisonment.
“One of the little boys in the class had the sense to take the walkie-talkie and press the button down so everyone else could hear what was going on. Once that decision was made, everyone arrived on the scene,” he added, praising that student’s quick thinking.
Anastos said Lira had been working for the school district for two months. He said all staffers, including Lira, undergo an extensive background check before employment that includes a physical exam, drug testing and fingerprinting. Lira was completely cleared through that process, Anastos said.
“What happened in the last couple days is beyond explanation that I might have,” he added. “This was unexpected, baffling behavior.”
The superintendent said the principal of Lemon Grove Academy met with parents following the incident and all parents of children in the after-school program were given details on what happened in that classroom.
Anastos said the 14 children involved in the incident were doing well on Thursday when they returned to the after-school program.