A 31-year-old after-school assistant was facing felony charges of child endangerment and false imprisonment Thursday after barricading herself and students inside a Lemon Grove classroom and then taking off her clothes as she struggled with school staff who came to the children’s rescue.

Linda Lira was working at Lemon Grove Academy at 7885 Golden Ave. just after 4 p.m. Wednesday, “when she began acting bizarre and barricaded herself and several children in a classroom,” said sheriff’s Lt. Chris May.

Students used Lira’s unattended campus radio to call for help, he said.

“Staff briefly fought with Lira to gain access to the classroom and remove children from her reach,” May said.

“After students were evacuated, Lira exhibited multiple signs and symptoms of narcotics/hallucinogen use. While struggling with other school staff, Lira removed her own clothing as one act in a series of bizarre acts.”

When deputies arrived, Lira was barricaded alone in her middle-school classroom, where she upended desks, threw things around and undressed and dressed several times, according to the lieutenant.

Deputies took her into custody and took her to a hospital for an evaluation, May said.

“As part of the investigation that continued the following day, multiple student victims were identified and interviewed to determine the true nature of all of the witnessed offenses,” May said.

“The school employees and officials worked very closely and cooperatively with the sheriff’s department to bring the incident to a peaceful resolution.”

Lira was booked at the Las Colinas Women’s Detention and Re-Entry Facility on suspicion of 14 counts each of child endangerment and false imprisonment, May said.

— City News Service

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