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Calif. teacher protected students from intruder, cited for bravery, report says

(CBS) FULLERTON, Calif. - A junior high school teacher in Fullerton, Calif. is being credited with protecting her students after a frightening intruder wandered into her classroom last month, reports CBS Los Angeles.

Robyn Clemente, an eighth-grade language arts instructor at Nicolas Junior High School, reportedly helped her 34 students when an agitated 24-year-old man, allegedly on drugs, burst into her class and ordered the kids to the ground. The man, identified as Aaron Bennett, also allegedly threw furniture and grabbed a student by the leg, reports the station.

Clemente told the station her instinct was to distract the man.

"I made the judgment call to talk to him to make sure my students were safe," said Clemente. "As I was talking to him to distract him, I moved my students against the wall. I noticed that he did have one of my students pinned down. I continued to introduce myself and to try and distract him."

A student and Clemente were honored by city officials for their bravery, reports the station.

"What she did was absolutely heroic. She put herself in a potential danger to protect her children. She put herself between the suspect and her kids to ensure they were able to get out of the classroom safely. She didn't think about any harm to herself, but thought solely about her children in the class," said Sgt. Jeff Stuart of the Fullerton Police Department.

One week prior to the incident, the students and Clemente reportedly practiced a similar scenario in a lockdown drill on campus.

Clemente said she had talked to her kids about active shooter situations prior to the incident.

  • Crimesider Staff

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