Parent arrested for threat,  public profanity at  Nettleton school

Tina Hester

On May 11, shortly before noon a Nettleton woman, Tina Hester, entered the Nettleton Elementary School, failed to check in at the office and entered an area that was prohibited to the public to remove her daughter. “Originally it was assumed this lady had checked in at the office and it was assumed, by the staff, this lady had permission to check her child out,” said Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson. “However, what actually happened was Ms Hester, who is on video, entered a secure hallway at Nettleton School where her child was in class.” According to the Nettleton school handbook, parents/guardians are welcome in the Nettleton School District; however, in order maintain school safety and guard instructional time, all visitors must report to the school’s office when arriving on campus and must get a visitor’s pass from the office. These instructions are also posted on signs which are placed throughout campus. “She (Hester) went through, at least, three or four secure areas where signs were posted, walked down the hallway, got her child and then went into another building and into the cafeteria area,” Johnson said. “She walked up to a teacher, who happened to be my daughter, and asked where a particular student was. “The student, in question, was in my daughter’s class. She (Hester) talked to her about a situation that went on between her daughter and another student.” Again, according to the handbook anyone who wishes to speak to their child’s teacher is to contact the school by phone and arrange to meet with the teacher. Students are not allowed to bring visitors to school at any time. This includes, but is not limited to, brothers, sisters, children, spouses and any other relatives. “According to Miss Johnson, she tried to calm the lady and was able to do that. The lady ended up hugging Miss Johnson’s neck, thanked her for her attentiveness and thanked her for addressing the problem,” Johnson said. “Then in the same motion, turned around and screamed out obscenities in front of the class, got her child, started out the door, saw the child in question, who she had a problem with and walked up to her, made some type of inappropriate comment to her. in a threatening manner, and then walked off campus.” Miss Johnson went to the school office, reported the incident and it was at that time staff discovered Hester didn’t have permission to be on campus. After studying video footage from the school, and talking with witnesses the sheriff’s department discovered Hester worked in Amory. “I contacted the Amory police chief and his department made the arrest,” Johnson said. Hester, 31, was charged with one count of disturbance of a school session, one count of public profanity and one count of a threat made to a student while in a school setting. According to the sheriff, this was not the school’s first problem involving this parent. “I can tell you on May 9 this same lady went to the school office and had somewhat of a confrication with another child, without permission, and the school staff let her know she couldn’t talk to another person’s child,” Johnson said. “I can also tell you last year there was a note sent to a teacher, that was angrily written. There had already been some incidents with this parent, the school and other children.” There is some evidence this incident may be related to bullying. The handbook reads, the Nettleton School District is committed to protecting its students from bullying, harassment, or discrimination for any reason and of any type. “We have been told and are looking into some bullying activity which has supposedly taken place between Miss Hester’s child and the other child, who she confronted,” Johnson said. “There is also information, however, that the other child goes home and spends the night with Miss Hester’s child on a regular basis.” The Lee County Sheriff’s Department is in the process of discussing this case with the Lee County District Attorney’s Office to see if more charges might be added and the possibility of bring it before the next grand jury. “Rules were violated. It’s something we’re absolutely not going to tollerate,” Johnson said. “We can’t have chaos in society, especially in our schools.”

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