Teacher protects girls; mom arrested

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Hephzibah Elementary School first-grade teacher Kristi Davis wasn't about to sit back and watch as two of her school's pupils were driven away by people she didn't know.

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Kristi Davis, a first-grade teacher at Hephzibah Elementary School, smiles today during a reception at the school. She helped stop a mother and grandmother from taking two pupils without authorization Thursday.  Zach Boyden-Holmes/ Staff
Zach Boyden-Holmes/ Staff
Kristi Davis, a first-grade teacher at Hephzibah Elementary School, smiles today during a reception at the school. She helped stop a mother and grandmother from taking two pupils without authorization Thursday.

Davis jumped into a sport utility vehicle with the first- and third-grade girls, and refused to leave, hoping to stop it from driving away.

"I chose to get in the vehicle," said Davis, who teaches the younger of the girls. "Those are my children 180 days out of the year. I just did what I had to do. I just had to do my job."

The SUV took off anyway, nearly hitting a school counselor, but was stopped by authorities two miles away, on Windsor Spring Road.

The pupils' mother and grandmother, who was driving, were arrested. Officials said the mother wasn't on the school's approved list to take the children and had been told so earlier in the day, when she tried to check the girls out just before school was dismissed.

The mother was identified as Naydra N. Jenkins, 39, and the grandmother as Geraldine W. Myers, 58, said school safety Chief Patrick Clayton. Both were charged with interference with schools, a misdemeanor, and booked at the Richmond County Jail, the chief said.

Clayton said the girls' father lives in the Augusta area but the mother had been staying in Alaska. Authorities said their father hadn't included their mother on the schools' approved list for pick-ups.

Hephzibah Elementary Principal Frances Ellison said she didn't know the mother's reason for wanting to check the children out. She said after being denied, the mother waited until school ended and pulled the children into the SUV.

Ellison said that's when her school's workers, who didn't know who the mother was, went into action: Davis entered the vehicle, a counselor moved in front of the SUV, and a school nurse wrote the tag number on her hand. A parent ran to a nearby police station to alert authorities, and school workers called school safety with a description of the vehicle.

"My people worked very good today," Ellison said.

Lynne Pinson is the counselor who stepped in front of the SUV.

"I backed up three times," she said. "The last time, the car touched me, and I just got out of the way."

Pinson credits Davis for protecting the pupils.

"Kristi Davis is our hero," she said. "She entered that car because she refused to let go ... and that's the kind of teacher she is."

"I will say she went above and beyond," Clayton added.

Davis, who doesn't have children, said she considers her students family.

"I'm going to protect my children just like I would want somebody to protect mine when I have them," she said.

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walkerjones
3
Points
walkerjones 05/14/10 - 01:20 pm
0
0
With teacher's morale being

With teacher's morale being so low this year with all the furloughs days... my hat goes off to this teacher who could have just ignored who was picking up her student... but she didn't. I don't know her, nor do I have any school age children, but if I did, you can bet I'd want them in that teacher's class... someone who would protect my child as if it was their own.

mpoole
0
Points
mpoole 05/14/10 - 01:25 pm
0
0
As a teacher, I would have

As a teacher, I would have done the same thing. She is liable for those girls and she loves them like they are her own. Stupid? No way - without a doubt the right thing to do. No telling what would have happened to those children if she had not done what she did.

corgimom
53633
Points
corgimom 05/14/10 - 01:29 pm
0
0
That's right, we aren't the

That's right, we aren't the parents.

We know that.

Perhaps the only children in your life that you love, and have ever loved, are only your biological children.

Fortunately, that is not the case in my life.

libertarianvoter
0
Points
libertarianvoter 05/14/10 - 03:16 pm
0
0
Corgimom, well said. This

Corgimom, well said. This teacher is a real life hero, and I applaud anyone who would've done the same. Safety of the children should be priority number 1, and this teacher realized this.

backagain
0
Points
backagain 05/14/10 - 03:33 pm
0
0
This is teacher of the
Unpublished

This is teacher of the year,decade,possibly even this century.I applaud her efforts.This is what makes me know Teachers are overworked and underpaid.I hope to see you on the Oprah Winfrey show Mrs Davis.GREAT GREAT JOB!!!!!! PS don't listen to the detractors,i have a 4 yr old,and i would want to entrust her around AWESOME teachers such as yourself.You are Amazing and Incredible!!!!!!

Waymore
137
Points
Waymore 05/14/10 - 05:25 pm
0
0
For all the people bashing

For all the people bashing this young lady, I offer this. What she did was incredibly brave, but also very dangerous. She made a split second decision, she did it reactionary, without any thought of herself. She placed herself in immediate danger. She didn't know these people, if they had a gun, if they were high or drunk..she made a split second decision that thankfully ended up the way it did. There are so may scenarios as to how this COULD have turned out. This young lady is a hero, plain and simple. She went above and beyond what was expected of her. For that she should be commended and should be hailed as a hero. Her actions demonstrate what is good and right about this city.

Brad Owens
5435
Points
Brad Owens 05/14/10 - 07:09 pm
0
0
HECK YES!!! I love it when

HECK YES!!!

I love it when people do the right thing in the face of obvious danger and win out in the end.

This lady is AWESOME and very much the type of person I want looking after my kids.

Brad

Indigo
4
Points
Indigo 05/14/10 - 09:26 pm
0
0
For all the nay-sayers, you

For all the nay-sayers, you seriously think teachers are trained how to handle a kidnapping like this? She did what she had to and I stand up to applaud her. She gave her life so those kids could have theirs. Its called HEROISM............ Heroes aren't paid "cops", they are ordinary folks doing extraordinary things............... I say arm the woman and give her a raise!

Jillian
2
Points
Jillian 05/14/10 - 09:46 pm
0
0
Say what you want..the

Say what you want..the teacher created more risk by reacting the way she did instead of calming calling 911. If clerks in a retail store get fired for trying to chase down a robber shouldn't there be a higher standard in a situation that involves someone who is a teacher?

If it were my kid's I would want the police called and not some one jumping in a car possibly causing them all to get blown away.

Ask any officer who negotiates hostage situations..slow and steady and putting safety first is the right route to take. Hostage situations need to be DE-ESCALATED...and not escalated to a higher level adding more possible victim's. If that kid had ended up dead I guarantee the teacher would be partly to blame.

Waymore
137
Points
Waymore 05/14/10 - 09:53 pm
0
0
I'm a negotiator, and could

I'm a negotiator, and could possibly had to have resolve the situation. This teacher did NOT escalate the problem. 911 was called. Time is on the side of a negotiator. When the teacher reacted like she did, tensions were already high. She didn't escalate the problem. Criticize all you want, she made a snap judgment call; the one that she THOUGHT was right at the time it was made. I'll back her, because I'm all too familiar with Monday morning quarterbacks.

Sargebaby
4694
Points
Sargebaby 05/14/10 - 09:58 pm
0
0
No matter what anyone says

No matter what anyone says here, this brave young educator did what she thought was necessary. No one knows what they will do in an emergency situation, but she did the thing most heroes would do. Good for her, and I vote that Austin works on getting her that award. She deserves it!

movingtoaugusta
63
Points
movingtoaugusta 05/14/10 - 10:16 pm
0
0
Girl, you can teach my kids

Girl, you can teach my kids any day. You have what most people want.........the guts to act when you see a wrong. Hoooooray for you!

redapples
765
Points
redapples 05/14/10 - 11:00 pm
0
0
Some of you people are

Some of you people are amazingly absurd! Instead of being thankful that this teacher made a decision that put her own well-being at risk for a child you criticize and disect her decision. You are pathetic! Being a teacher is largely a thankless job, but those who flourish in the profession are not there for the praise. Praise God for great teachers! Yes, I said "God."

Cadence
219
Points
Cadence 05/14/10 - 11:12 pm
0
0
That Mama must have been

That Mama must have been desperate to see her children. I wonder how the father got them from her? More money for a lawyer I guess? Sad.

ennui
0
Points
ennui 05/15/10 - 12:16 am
0
0
Wow, Jillian.... jealous

Wow, Jillian.... jealous much???

Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 05/15/10 - 05:16 am
0
0
Mable, why would you even try

Mable, why would you even try to argue such a statement. If all teachers, especially elementary teachers, cared for their students as if they were their own, schools would be a better place. This teacher cares about her students as if they were her own and many other teachers do as well and all you wish to do is inform them they are not the parents...how ridiculous. By the way, legally, they are inlocoparentis and therefore are as close as it gets to being their parents 8 hours a day.

1941
4
Points
1941 05/15/10 - 06:50 am
0
0
To the posters who think

To the posters who think something was wrong with what this brave teacher did, it should have been your children, and she did nothing!!! You would have been ready to sue the school district!! It seems as if you people are the cowards, if you do not understand why she did what she did.

Brad Owens
5435
Points
Brad Owens 05/15/10 - 06:55 am
0
0
Jillian, quit trolling. The

Jillian, quit trolling. The story is about this fine lady doing the right thing and you are just fishing for reactions. I am glad to be able to make you feel important by giving a reply to your petty and short sighted statements.

You are however, wrong.

Enjoy the attention you get on your trolling remarks,

(eyes rolling)

Brad

johnnywhittle
0
Points
johnnywhittle 05/15/10 - 09:52 am
0
0
To kat 30815. No this teacher

To kat 30815. No this teacher was Honored by Dr Bedden. Thankfully, our School Board has risen above that kind of thinking. Dr Bedden made a trip to the School, yesterday morning to thank Kristie. And, also Austin Rhodes hasn't finished yet. He feels that she needs to have more thanks from everybody; as I do. Keep watching. I still repeat, I pray that my Grand daughter can get teachers like Krisitie.

ennui
0
Points
ennui 05/15/10 - 11:28 am
0
0
geez Jillian, why such a

geez Jillian, why such a personal axe to grind with the teacher? Get yourself a saucer of milk and calm down a bit.

And why do you keep insisting that the kids could have been 'blown away' because this woman hopped in the car? If that's the best you can do objecting to her actions, you need to stop. You sound desperate and silly, and now you're making remarks regarding her attire because nothing else seems to be working for you.
Your arguments aren't valid at all, and your obvious personal dislike for this woman is the only point you seem to be making.
Seek help and move on.

KATIEBIRD61402
0
Points
KATIEBIRD61402 05/15/10 - 01:48 pm
0
0
Jillian, I have worked in

Jillian, I have worked in retail, been a substitute teacher and now am a parent of a young child, who goes to HES and whose classroom I have been in may times. I do not know how you can even think to compare somebody stealing merchadise from or robbing a store to someone kidnapping a child!! Money and material things can be replaced, a child and a life can not. Yes, retail employees are instructed to never chase or touch someone who has stolen or robbed from the store, but if you were taught right, you would know that it has nothing to do with safety, it is becasue of the potential of a lawsuit against the employee or store. I would be glad to be sued anyday if it meant I had maybe saved a child from being harmed or taken away by someone who had no business taking them! I would also like my sons teacher to be comfortable in her clothes so that she can play and interact at his level, and not stand at a chalkboard and dictate lessons in a long dress all day.

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 05/15/10 - 02:43 pm
0
0
For Jillian: Well, we all
Unpublished

For Jillian: Well, we all know the position YOU would have taken. Typical New Yorker type action. Clearly, all the bases were covered here. License plate was taken, blocking the vehicle etc. Last resort was jumping into the car. What if the driver/mother had intended to kidnap the child and take it to Alaska? I'm assuming there is a good reason why she obviously does not have custody of the child.
Another point, on the retail sales thing. Yes, cashiers and other employees are discouraged from trying to stop a criminal action and just call 911, however the primary reason is to first protect the life of the employee who normally has a gun trained on them, and lastly to prevent a future lawsuit from the employee in case of injury or what have you.
There is NOT one negative comment on this teachers action defensible in this forum.

Jillian
2
Points
Jillian 05/15/10 - 05:51 pm
0
0
How did anyone in that area

How did anyone in that area KNOW the people in the car did not have a gun? Thank you.

Last time I checked "personal dislike" indicates you know the person. Next. Also read the story again. How much time elapsed between the time the woman was in the office attempting to sign out the children and the time she put the kids in the car after school was dismissed?

If the school staff had followed proper procedure they would have ensured the woman was escorted off school property then..not allow her to park outside and simply wait until the children exited the building.

Very poor judgment all around...which is why it's best to leave rescues to those professional trained to do such jobs.

If the incident had ended up with a school employee and/or school children dead you can best belive people would be ready to sue about it and the school would be liable. It could have ended in needless deaths so easily.

School districts have enough money woes they don't need to have to worry about lawsuits because their staff don't allow safety and security personnel to take care of safety and security matters.

It would seem to me security should have escorted the women from school property before school was dismissed.

KrystleHarden
0
Points
KrystleHarden 05/15/10 - 07:27 pm
0
0
Jillian, Ms. Davis is a hero,

Jillian,
Ms. Davis is a hero, nothing you say can change that. Just thought I would let you know that this hero is so humble that she says she isn't a hero. We need to step up and applaud this young lady for what she did. If the rest of our country acted like her our crime rate may not be so high.
Be blessed!

nehki.jenkins
0
Points
nehki.jenkins 05/16/10 - 08:40 am
0
0
.....

.....

Trey Enfantay
9
Points
Trey Enfantay 05/16/10 - 04:09 am
0
0
You should be cooling your

You should be cooling your hiney in jail on no-bond felony kidnapping charges and reckless endangerment in my opinion.

nehki.jenkins
0
Points
nehki.jenkins 05/16/10 - 08:42 am
0
0
.....

.....

Trey Enfantay
9
Points
Trey Enfantay 05/16/10 - 04:47 am
0
0
Ms Jenkins, your defense

Ms Jenkins, your defense attorney is going to LOVE these postings. Keep digging! Would you like a bigger shovel?

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