(ABC News) — Students and staff at an elementary school in California were safely evacuated today, as police continued to address a disturbance involving a parent allegedly barricaded inside a classroom with a teacher.
Riverside Unified School District said that all students at Castle View Elementary had been accounted for, were safe and had been reunited with parents/guardians with proper photo identification.
According to Riverside police, the incident started just before noon.
“Our officers responded up to Castle View Elementary School … for some type of disturbance, possibly involving one of the parents. When they arrived, they learned that there was some type of altercation that occurred and now a parent was barricaded inside one of the classrooms with what we believe is a teacher,” Officer Ryan Railsback said during a news conference today.
Railsback said authorities were not sure why the parent was at the school or whether there had been previous issues with the parent at the school. He also said police did not know if the parent had a weapon in the classroom with him. The parent was described as an adult male.
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“As far as we know, nothing’s been reported that anyone saw actual weapons of any kind,” he said. “He’s not responding to our commands for him to come out, so far. … He’s barricaded himself in there and he’s got a teacher in there so it’d be a barricaded hostage situation.”
Railsback said that officers and SWAT team members had isolated the classroom and had then helped to evacuate students and staff. He said a male staff member or teacher may have been struck by the parent before the parent entered the classroom with another teacher.
Justin Grayson, a Riverside Unified School District spokesman, said the parent had forced his way past an entrance-exit point and the injured staff member had gotten injured trying to intervene. Railsback said he believed the teacher inside the classroom was a woman but he did not have any other details.
Worried parents rushed to the school today to reunite with their children.
“I got there literally minutes after supposedly it (the incident) started to happen,” SandiKay Barber-Alvarez told ABC station KABC-TV. “Every unit known to man showed up. Praise God for our Riverside PD.”