The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

May 7, 2014

Mother arrested at school for disorderly conduct, gun found in van in parking lot

ANDERSON — A mother was arrested after she allegedly became irate with high school officials and officers over an issue with her son on Wednesday. After searching the woman's vehicle, police also discovered the woman had brought an unloaded gun onto school property.

Cheri A. McKinzie, 41, of Anderson, was arrested shortly after school hours. The mother of a 16-year-old male Anderson High School student faces charges of disorderly conduct, resisting law enforcement and possession of a firearm on school property. The boy also faces juvenile charges of disorderly conduct.

According to Anderson Police Department spokesman Joel Sandefur, the incident started about 3:30 p.m. at the high school. McKinzie entered the school for a meeting with Principal Terry Thompson. She became very upset about her son's cellphone being taken away, and began to raise her voice and become unruly with school officials.

According to Thompson, McKinzie started acting out of control, so he called for resource officers at the school to escort McKinzie out of the building. McKinzie allegedly became irate at the officers, leading to her arrest. At some point, the teenage son also intervened against the officers, causing them to arrest the boy.

Thompson called the incident unfortunate, and a miscommunication.

"We want parents in the building whenever they want to be. Parents are always welcome, but we expect a level of decorum," Thompson said. "There's a time and a place for certain discussions, and this wasn't it. We had a parent that got out of control. My job is to de-escalate situations like that, and we couldn't, so I had to call the officers."

Thompson said he had relayed the details of the incident to Anderson Community Schools Superintendent Tim Edsell, and there were no plans to suspend the teen from school. He said the incident that led to the boy's arrest involved police, and not school officials. Sandefur said the boy was sent to the Madison County Youth Center after the incident.

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