A 14-year veteran teacher is accused of going on a drunken tirade, using racial slurs and threatening to have a police officer killed, and it was all over a missing cell phone.
April Littlepage, 39, of Murfreesboro, is a second-grade teacher at Wilson Elementary School.
Students at the school are on spring break, and some in the community are wondering if the teacher should be in the classroom when classes resume.
"What if the kids had heard? What if a mother had driven by with her child and said, 'Oh, that's my teacher,'" said J.J. Felter, who goes to the same nail salon as Littlepage.
Felter says she couldn't believe it at first when she heard Littlepage was accused of causing a disturbance after getting her nails done at Nails So Happy Salon on Saturday.
The teacher was upset thinking she had left her cell phone inside, according to witnesses.
"I was a little taken back and disturbed about it," Felter said. "This woman is taking care of our children."
Witnesses told police Littlepage also used racial slurs as she went on her tirade.
"You can't do that. I don't care if you are drunk or not," Felter said.
The teacher's behavior got even more bizarre after police slapped handcuffs on her and took her to jail.
"While en route to the booking area, she stated her attorney would murder the police officer. Which, of course, is something a drunken person would do or say," said Murfreesboro police spokesman Sgt. Kyle Evans.
Veronica Edwards-Milnar is also an educator but doesn't want to pass judgment on the teacher.
"As an educator I can tell you, you have to watch what you say and do, and we are role models," Edwards-Milnar said.
The manager of the nail salon, Kenny Soang, said Littlepage is a good customer, but his main concern was protecting his other customer when she became so upset.
"One of the customers was trying to help her find her phone and offered her a ride to take her home, but she couldn't remember where she lived," Soang said.
Since police didn't see Littlepage behind the wheel of a car, she was only charged with public intoxication.
Rutherford County Schools spokesman James Evans said school employees who get arrested are required by the district to report the arrest within 72hours.
Littlepage did comply with that policy.
She is scheduled to appear in court at the end of the month.
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