After confiscating a 10-year-old student’s smartphone during class, a teacher in Pittsburgh alleges the child’s parents followed and assaulted her.
CBS News reports Pittsburgh Public School teacher Janice Watkins was seriously injured by Daishonta Williams and her boyfriend after following Watkins’ car as she left the Pittsburgh King PreK-8 school.
Earlier in the day, Watkins had called Williams for a parent-teacher conference, sharing with the mother that her daughter had “bit the teacher” when she removed the phone from her. The district has a no-phone policy for all students.
CBS News affiliate KDKA-TV reports that Williams’s daughter alleges Watkins “choked the child,” but Watkins’ husband denies such claims.
Watkins went on to tell police she was stopped at an intersection when Williams got out of another vehicle and threw a brick at her, striking Watkins in the face, before pulling her out of the vehicle and beating her.
“She felt a presence of somebody grabbing the back of her hair and proceeding to kick and stomp her,” Watkins’ husband said. “And she didn’t understand who it was, but at that point she buried her face in the girl’s body and tried to defend herself as much as possible.”
Watkins was treated for facial injuries and lost a tooth, while Williams was charged with stalking, reckless endangerment, making terroristic threats and aggravated assault. The boyfriend wasn’t charged.
In the criminal complaint, Williams acknowledged attacking the teacher, saying, “I ain’t going to lie, I did it.” However, investigators state she denied using a brick and claimed to have only punched the teacher.
District spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said violence against a Pittsburgh Public Schools staff member is “unacceptable and anyone responsible must be held accountable for such horrifying behavior.”
“We are deeply troubled by the violent act against a teacher of the Pittsburgh Public Schools that occurred on the West End Bridge yesterday afternoon, and we are currently cooperating with the City of Pittsburgh Police Department's investigation,” she said in a statement Thursday.