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An elementary school tutor in Tennessee was arrested Sunday after authorities found nine young children in her car, including three in the trunk, police said.
Andria Jones, 33, was charged with three counts of reckless endangerment after someone at a gas station roughly 20 miles southeast of Nashville dialed 911 “because they saw a lady with kids in the trunk of her car,” La Vergne Police spokesman John Fesmire told NBC News.
Police found nine children, all roughly ages 9 to 10, in Jones’ Chevy Malibu, Fesmire said. The group had attended a ball game earlier in the day, Fesmire said, adding that “parents already planned on the kids staying the night with the teacher.”
“It's unclear if the parents and suspect were friends beyond the usual concept of parent/teacher interaction,” he said.
Jones denied the charges, telling NBC affiliate WSMV that the kids were only playing in the trunk while she was parked.
“Not one minute did I leave kids in the trunk,” she told the station.
Police told WSMV that she'd been recorded on a surveillance camera.
Jones is a part-time tutor at Alex Green, an elementary school in Nashville. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System said in a statement that Jones had worked for the school since September.
Beginning Monday, the statement said, she will be placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure after an employee is arrested.
“We are in contact with the authorities in Rutherford County and will cooperate fully with their investigation,” the statement said. “Obviously, the acts she is accused of are completely inappropriate for an educator entrusted with caring for students, and we will take further disciplinary action if needed as more details come to light.”