A Texas elementary school teacher was put on administrative leave earlier this week after being arrested for assaulting an elderly couple at an Arlington, Texas, shopping mall.
The alleged assault happened Feb. 19 (a Saturday) at The Parks at Arlington mall as Brenda Jones Stafford, a fifth-grade teacher, escorted several of her A.M. Pate Elementary students out on a school field trip.
An elderly couple – Carlton Morgan, 73, and his wife Bette Davis Morgan, 71 – were having coffee at the mall’s food court when Stafford approached them and tried to grab a chair Ms. Davis had her leg propped up on. Stafford claims she needed the chair for one of her students to use. But when Davis refused to let go of the chair, Stafford spit on Ms. Davis, pushed her and even tried to choke her.
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When Ms. Davis’ husband stepped in to try and stop the fight, Stafford pushed him down, hit him and tried to choke him as well.
Stafford’s students yelled at her, encouraging her to stop attacking Mr. Davis and managed to pull her off him. Stafford and her group left the scene but she was arrested shortly thereafter when police located her in a different area of the mall. She now faces felony assault charges and school officials have placed her on administrative leave while the case is investigated.
Fortunately, Mr. and Mrs. Davis sustained only minor injuries in the ordeal.
The alleged assault incident is not the teacher’s first run-in with the law. In 1996, Stafford was indicted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and assault with bodily injury when she threatened a woman at gunpoint. Those charges, however, were later dismissed by prosecutors.