MATTOON -- A parent of a student at Williams Elementary School was banned from the property after an incident that involved the police Tuesday afternoon.

Mattoon police were called to the school at 2:07 p.m. after it was reported a parent, Dyanna Lucas, was yelling and cursing at staff in the entrance lobby of the building when picking up her child, said Jason Taylor, Mattoon Police Department chief.

The child, Anyah Cole, 6, was poked in the eye with a lead pencil by another student and her parents went to the school to pick her up, Lucas said. 

Taylor said the school staff locked the doors and police were dispatched to the scene after Lucas allegedly started yelling at staffers. He added that the parent banged on the doors to get in.

Lucas denied even speaking with a staff member on the property before being banned. According to her account of the events, she advised staff over the phone that she would take legal action against them if her daughter was injured.

She said upon arriving at the school with her fiance, Terrance Brooks, she was ignored by staff to let her in through the second set of entrance doors so that she could pick up her daughter. She said she rang a bell and knocked on the door to get the attention of the staff but with no response.

A video recorded by Lucas several minutes after the incident started showed Lucas raising her voice from the lobby at staff that did not acknowledge or respond to her. 

“We were the victims. My daughter was the victim,” Lucas said. “We were greeted with cops.”

She said she was informed by police that she was banned from the property for informing the school that "I will sue them if anything happens to Anyah."

Lucas was banned from the building and no charges were filed, Taylor said regarding the incident.

Taylor added that it was reported that incidents have taken place in the past where Lucas sidestepped the office and went straight to her daughter’s classroom. Lucas denied this as well, stating that her daughter has been bullied in the past but that she went to the office before making her way to the classroom.

Lucas noted that Anyah was taken to the hospital and confirmed to have an eye injury by the doctors.

School district officials would not comment on the alleged incidents involving a student. Mattoon Superintendent Larry Lilly did speak on the general policy of the school district.

When an adult comes on to the property and is “belligerent” in a way that alarms student and staff, school administrators do what they can to de-escalate situations, Lilly said. 

If that fails, the school resource officer is called to remove the person from the property. “In some cases,” the person is given a letter of no trespass, which would require they give notice to the administrators before entering the premises, Lilly added.



Jarad Jarmon is a reporter for the JG-TC. He covers the city of Charleston, Eastern Illinois University, Mattoon schools and the Regional Office of Education.

Load comments