Heroic School Staff Tackled Intruder To Stop Him From Entering School

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | 4 weeks ago

student teachers

Earlier this month, three Tennessee school staff members held an intruder to the ground in an effort to prevent him from harming students. The incident happened at Inglewood Elementary School and involved the school secretary, bookkeeper, and a kindergarten teacher. Tuesday, the women involved faced the man in court.

On Wednesday, May 11th, around 10 a.m. Rachel Davis had been supervising her kindergarten class on the playground. As she prepared them to return to the building a man jumped over the Inglewood Elementary fence and rushed at the children. The Tennessee teacher shouted at the intruder telling him that he wasn’t allowed in the school, nor allowed to use the playground entrance. She blocked his way and he attempted to get around her, lunging for the kids. Davis called for help and struggled with him as he broke into the building. The two fell backward in front of the young students. The school secretary, Nikki Thomas, along with the school bookkeeper, Shay Patton, came to aid her after contacting the police. They instructed the kids to run and worked together to detain the trespasser. 

The intruder was charged with assault, resisting arrest, and aggravated criminal trespassing. Being that the trial took place on the same day as a recent fatal Texas school shooting, the Inglewood Elementary teachers expressed their fears and how they knew what the worst case scenario could be. Although their heroic actions were difficult to carry out, they recalled the incident to testify against the man in question.

These Inglewood Elementary staff members held the man down for 10 minutes while they waited for the authorities to arrive. Thomas held him in a headlock with his hands behind his back and put her legs on his body.  All three women suffered injuries. Rachel Davis broke her elbow when she fell, but noted that all she could think of during the incident was the safety of her students.

Nikki Thomas and Shay Patton also expressed that same concern. Thomas was especially involved because her niece was one of the children playing on the playground when this took place. After the danger was averted she expressed her fears over, “imagining what could have happened.”

Now that the intruder is being tried for his crimes, the trio of Inglewood Elementary educational professionals are focused on finishing out the school year. Patton did express how the next day at work was especially terrifying. She noted hearing children in the hall and the sound of the door to the playground stopping her for a moment.

Inglewood Elementary

Inglewood Elementary has been assessed by the district since the incident. They are currently working to approve plans that would replace the playground fence with one that is taller and less accessible. This will likely ease security concerns, and prevent similar attacks in the future. For now, Rachel Davis, Nikki Thomas, and Shay Patton are being hailed as true heroes for their selfless actions. In working with each other to ensure student safety they inadvertently embodied their school’s motto, which is, “Together We Grow.”