A 46-year-old Pittsburgh, Pa., teacher is recovering in hospital after allegedly being physically assaulted by a student’s parent on Wednesday.
According to CBS affiliate, KDKA, the incident began on the morning of Oct. 18 at King PreK-8 public school between teacher Janice Watkins, 46, and an unidentified girl in the fourth grade.
Watkins confiscated a phone from the girl — the district is reported to have a “no cellphone” policy – and that’s when the student allegedly bit the teacher.
NBC affiliate, WPXI, wrote the student’s mother believed Watkins had choked her daughter during the altercation of taking the girl’s phone away.
The girl’s parents allegedly went to the school later in the day and that’s when the mother of the student told Watkins she was “going to get even.”
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KDKA reported that while Watkins was on her way to a local clinic to get a bite wound looked at, a car pulled up beside her and that’s when the girl’s mother allegedly threw a brick at the teacher’s face.
WPXI said they spoke to the student’s mother who claimed to have assaulted Watkins, but not with a brick.
“I did get out and I did hit her, but I did not throw a brick through the window as they say I did. No, I did not. I punched her in her face,” the female suspect said to WPXI.
In a telephone interview with attorney Blaine Jones, the female suspect’s lawyer, he said he was contacted by his client, her father and her roommate on Oct. 19.
“[My client] is currently in jail and we are working with her family to try and get her out,” said Jones to Global News.
Jones said his client’s bail is currently set at US$50,000.
“Once we get her bailed out, the next step is to take a look at the allegations,” said Jones.
When asked if his client was in jail in relation to throwing a brick at a teacher’s face, Jones said they’re trying to sort out exactly what took place.
“It is my understanding that something happened at the school concerning [my client’s] child… it did stem from an incident at the school,” said Jones.
Police said in a press release that a dispute between a parent at King PreK-8 and a 46-year-old teacher led to the educator being injured.
The statement continues to read in part:
“At some point near the intersection, the male and female approached the victim’s vehicle. The victim rolled down the window and the female threw a brick at her, knocking out a tooth. The male and female then pulled the victim out of the car and continued assaulting her.”
In an email statement sent to Global News by Ebony Pugh, public information officer for the school district, she wrote the district is “deeply troubled by the violent act against a teacher of the Pittsburgh Public Schools.”
“Violence of any kind against a PPS staff member or citizen is unacceptable, and the individuals responsible must be held accountable for such horrifying behavior… our thoughts are with the teacher who was injured in [the] incident, and we wish her a full and speedy recovery. As the incident is the subject of an active city police investigation, no further comment will be provided by the district at this time.”
Betty Davis, Watkins mother, said her daughter is currently in hospital recovering.
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“Her head is hurting real bad, her face on the one side is swollen. They say they want to do a scan to make sure everything is OK,” said Davis to KDKA.
Davis also went on to say the parent threw the brick at her daughter’s face for revenge.
“[My daughter] said, ‘I put my window down and the woman threw a brick through my window.’ She said, ‘I told you I would get you,’” Davis explained. “My heart goes out to the child, because what has that mother taught that child? Whatever it is, you solve it with violence.”
According to police, Daishonta Marie Williams, 29, has been arrested and charged with “aggravated assault, stalking, terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person.”
Officials are still trying to locate the male suspect.
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