A woman who claims a public school teacher choked her daughter while disciplining her has been charged with following the teacher after school, hitting her with a brick and then pulling her from her car and beating her.
Daishonta Williams and her boyfriend followed Janice Watkins’ car as she left the Pittsburgh King PreK-8 school on Wednesday afternoon, police said.
Earlier in the day, the teacher had called Williams to the school for a conference, claiming Williams’ 10-year-old daughter bit the teacher when she removed a cellphone from her.
The district has a no-phone policy for students.
Watkins told police she was stopped at an intersection when Williams got out of another vehicle and threw a brick, striking Watkins in the face, before beating her.
Janice Watkins, 46, is a teacher at a PreK-8 school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was allegedly assaulted on Wednesday by Daishonta Williams, the mother of a fourth-grade student
The shocking incident took place on Wednesday, when Watkins confiscated a cell phone from Williams’ daughter at the Pittsburgh King PreK-8 School
The teacher was treated for facial injuries and lost a tooth.
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.
Pugh said she could not comment on the particulars of the case, including Williams’ claim her daughter was mistreated, because the case remains the subject of a police investigation.
Pittsburgh Police say that at approximately 3:15pm on Wednesday, Watkins pulled up to the intersection of Route 65 and the West End Bridge (above). Moments later, a black SUV pulled up beside her. Williams allegedly got out of the SUV and assaulted her
Williams said that she attacked Watkins because she choked her daughter earlier at the school (seen above)
Williams was charged with stalking, reckless endangerment, making terroristic threats and aggravated assault.
Her boyfriend wasn’t charged.
Online court records don’t list an attorney for Williams, but police said in their criminal complaint she acknowledged attacking the teacher.
‘I ain’t going to lie, I did it,’ Williams said, according to police, though investigators say she denied using a brick and claimed to have only punched the teacher.
The teacher couldn’t be reached for comment because no telephone number for her could be found.
But the president of her union said words aren’t enough to express her ‘horror’ regarding the ‘brutal attack’ she suffered.
‘This horrific attack is the most appalling act that I have had to address in my six years as your president,’ Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers president Nina Esposito-Visgitis said in an emailed statement.
‘I know acts of violence like this do not represent our kids or our parents, but it is beyond unacceptable.’
STATEMENT FROM PITTSBURGH PUBLIC SCHOOLS
‘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.
‘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.
‘We know the individuals involved in yesterday’s incident do not represent the many great parents and families who choose the Pittsburgh Public Schools for the education of their children, and we look to our families to continue to support and work collaboratively with our teachers and staff.
‘Our thoughts are with the teacher who was injured in yesterday’s 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.’