A Pittsburgh teacher was violently assaulted after school after she took a child’s cellphone away from her.
But it wasn’t the child who attacked the teacher – it was her parents.
Pittsburgh Police said that 46-year-old Janice Watkins confiscated the phone from a fourth-grade girl in her class at Pittsburgh King PreK-8 School on the North Side. The district has a “no cell phone” policy. When she confiscated the phone, the student allegedly but Watkins.
Apparently, the parents found out, KDKA reports, and decided to go to the school, telling the teacher she was “going to get even.”
The parents then followed Watkins to her car as she left to go to a clinic and have the bite wound checked out.
The assault happened at a nearby intersection when a black SUV approached the vehicle.
“She said, ‘I put my window down and the woman threw a brick through my window,’ and hit her in her face,” said Betty Davis, Watkins’ mother. “And that’s when she said, ‘I told you I would get you,’ and [Watkins] said, ‘I didn’t realize it was two other people,’ but she said she felt something hit her in the back and it was two men.”
It was a brick thrown at her. She was then dragged out of the vehicle and violently beaten.
The attackers sped off and Watkins, who was left dazed and bleeding, called 911.
“My heart goes out to the child, because what has that mother taught that child? Whatever it is, you solve it with violence,” said Davis.
Watkins suffered facial injuries and lost a tooth. She was taken by ambulance to Allegheny General Hospital and listed in stable condition.
“Her head is hurting real bad, her face on the one side is swollen,” said David. “They say they want to do a scan to make sure everything is okay.”
The school wouldn’t return repeated calls from the station, but another teacher said police would be there when school begins Thursday morning.
Janice Watkins’ son, Gerald, said he was shocked at the attack.
“There’s 102 ways that you can deal with this situation and violence is not one of them,” he said.
Another local news station, WPXI, managed to get in touch with the woman who claims she assaulted Watkins.
She goes by the name “Miss Williams” and said that she only acted after learning the teacher allegedly choked her 10-year-old daughter.
“If somebody put their hands on your child, what would you do?” Miss Williams said. “I didn’t technically follow her out the school. I waited for her to pull out and I followed her to the stop light.”
Police confirm that they believe the attack stemmed from an incident at the school.
“I’m not denying that my daughter bit her, but my daughter would never attack someone unless she felt threatened,” Williams said.
Police said Watkins was beaten so badly by Williams or her associates that she lost a tooth and has facial injuries.
“Miss Williams” said that Watkins violently attacked her daughter.
“I regret the way I went about the situation, but as a mother, you’re not going to put your hands around my child’s neck,” Williams said.