A parent allegedly assaulted a teacher in the parking lot of Oakhurst Intermediate Academy at 120 West Second St. early Monday morning regarding an issue unrelated to the school.
Clarksdale Police Department assistant chief Vince Ramirez said he call came in at 7:15 a.m. Monday and an officer went to the emergency room at Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center and spoke with the complainant.
The teacher identified parent LaShea Moore, 29, as the alleged attacker. Moore was taken into custody Monday afternoon, arrested on simple assault of an educator, brought in to the Coahoma County Jail Monday and released Tuesday on a $50,000 bond in circuit judge Kent Haney’s courtroom.
The teacher said the parent came to school and confronted her in the parking lot when she was getting some things out of her car, according to Ramirez.
Moore is accused of pepper spraying the teacher and then physically assaulting her. Other teachers, who witnessed the assault, were able to pull Moore off the teacher, according to the police report.
“It is going to be a felony charge,” Ramirez said. “Anything involving a teacher, law enforcement, firefighter, that falls under the statute of assaulting an officer.”
Clarksdale Municipal School District superintendent Dr. Earl Joe Nelson believed the problem did not start in the classroom.
“From my understanding, it wasn’t a school issue that was brought to school,” he said. “It wasn’t based on a student/teacher issue at all.”
Nelson said he and the four school resource officers are working to help prevent similar issues in the future.
“We’re fine-tuning our system with our school resource officers,” he said. “We’re making sure that we have everything in place.”
Nelson said he wants all schools in the district to be safe.
“All of our students have to feel safe and valued,” he said. “We can’t have incidents that put our kids, students and teachers at a safety risk. We just can’t afford for that to happen. Safety is the key.
“We just want to make sure the students, the staff and the families of our students feel safe and valued. This is a safety issue. We have kids that are being dropped off at school. Parents are dropping their students off. Staff is entering the building. This is a huge safety issue for us.
“I want to assure that safety is a top priority and all of our students and staff are safe always. We cannot tolerate such behavior on campus. We are going to take action based on the law.”
Ramirez said the CPD is still investigating the incident.
“Of course, the investigator has to talk to anyone that’s actually seen the incident,” he said. “From our understanding, there are some individuals that were in the parking lot and saw the actual incident that occurred.”
Ramirez said a rumor circulated that there might be a video of the incident. If that is the case, he said the video would be reviewed as part of the ongoing investigation.
Ramirez said Moore will be given a court date for a preliminary hearing and the case will be turned over to the district attorney’s office.
“Being the type of incident that occurred, an attack on a teacher, it’s pretty serious and it is a felony charge,” said Ramirez, adding the sentence could be 10 to 20 years,
“It’s a serious offense, just as you say an assault on an officer.”
Ramirez stressed the importance of safety.
“The school system is taking it very seriously,” he said. “We have to look out for our educators as well. We can’t have this stuff going on, especially at the schools where you have kids and all that that’s present. Not saying it was that at this point, but it was on the school ground where it occurred.”