A Tennessee teacher is being hailed a hero after the petite educator boldly tackled an intruder to protect students from terrifying uncertainty.
The bizarre incident unfolded May 11, when kindergarten teacher Rachel Davis was outside with 32 children on the school playground at Inglewood Elementary School in Nashville, and saw something that concerned her.
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She noticed a man approaching on the sidewalk. The individual wanted to get inside the building through the playground entrance, which Davis rebuffed, telling him instead to go to the front door.
When the man walked away and then came back, Davis and another teacher started getting the kids inside — and that’s when chaos broke out.
The man reportedly jumped over a fence and started charging toward the door, the Tennessean reported.
“Get help!” Davis told the other teacher.
Within moments, Davis was joined by Nikki Thomas, the school secretary, and both women tried to prevent the intruder from getting inside. The man, though, was undeterred, knocking into kids as he barreled toward the door.
Davis, described as gentle and calm, jumped into action and put her arms around the back of the man to try and stop his advance.
“Run!” Davis yelled to the remaining students. “Go inside now!”
The man then made his way inside the building and began running after breaking free from Davis. Rather than back down, though, the teacher — fearing for her students — reportedly kicked into high gear.
“I was going to do anything in my power to protect these kids, not just my kindergarten kids,” the brave teacher told the Tennessean. “All these kids feel like my kids.”
Davis bolted after the man and tackled him, sending her and the intruder falling backward to the ground.
The teacher broke her left elbow, but she, Thomas, and Shay Patton-Thomas, the school bookkeeper, held the man down until the police arrived.
Parents and school administration are now praising Davis and the other women as heroes who were willing to risk their safety to protect the school, according to the Tennessean.
As for Davis, she said she’s still processing through all that unfolded. The teacher took six days off to heal and is now back at school — but the emotional wounds could take some time to settle.
“I feel anger about what he put myself and my coworkers through and the kids,” she said. “This is trauma that we’re all going to have for years to come as we process through this.”
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