School Assistant Trapped Students, Stripped And Spoke Of Satan, Officials Say
An after-school assistant has been arrested after she allegedly barricaded herself and students in a San Diego classroom, then start stripping off her clothes. Linda Lira, 31, works at the Lemon Grove Academy in San Diego County as an after-school assistant. She's been charged with 14 counts of child endangerment and false imprisonment after allegedly barricading herself and a group of 14 students between the ages of 9 and 11 in a classroom on Wednesday afternoon. Superintendent Ernie Anatos told NBC San Diego that Lira began telling students really weird things. "She was saying they don't have to follow the rules anymore. She maybe referenced Satan."
One of the boys in the classroom was able to get ahold of Lira's walkie-talkie and used it to radio for help. Other school employees arrived to rescue the children.
However, Lira's weird behavior didn't end after the students escaped. "Lira exhibited multiple signs and symptoms of narcotics/hallucinogen use," Lt. Chris May of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said, according to 10 News. "While struggling with other school staff, Lira removed her own clothing as one act in a series of bizarre acts."
She also allegedly flipped over desks, threw objects and kept taking off her clothes and putting them back on. Deputies were eventually able to arrest her and take her to a nearby hospital.
Anatos said that Lira, who had been employed at the school for two months, had passed her background check—including a drug test—before being hired. "This was unexpected, baffling behavior," he said.