CHURCH HILL, Tenn. -- The mother of a kindergartner was charged with assault Thursday and banned from school after officials said she walked into the child's classroom, pointed a toy cap gun at students and pulled the trigger several times.
It happened Tuesday, a day after the deadly shootings at Virginia Tech, and scared teachers and students, the school principal said.
Church Hill police and Hawkins County school officials met with Heather Nicole Berg, 26, before charging her with misdemeanor assault, police said. She had already been banned from Church Hill Elementary School for a year.
Police declined to say why Berg had the cap gun with her but called her actions ``a monumental lapse in judgment.''
``A staff member and several children initially thought the gun was real and were fearful,'' police chief Mark Johnson said in a press release.
School officials said the woman was in the classroom to pay for an upcoming field trip. While the teacher's back was turned, ``The mom walked in toward the middle of the classroom, and the teacher heard this click, click, click, click — like four to six times,'' Principal Jean Heise said.
``A teacher's assistant witnessed her take a gun and point it directly toward four to five kids. With everything that's happened the last couple of days, she (the assistant) was just in shock,'' the principal said.
She then left with the small child and took the toy gun with her.
Heise called police.
Berg had a court appearance set for April 30. She could face up to a year in prison and a maximum fine of $2,500 if convicted of assault. Church Hill is near Kingsport, along the Virginia border.
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