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Police: Hempstead Math Teacher Recovering After Being Attacked By Angry Parent At School

HEMSPTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A middle school teacher is recovering from a beating in school, and police say it was at the hands of a student's mother.

Annika McKenzie, 34, marched into her daughter's school, the Alberta Gray Schultz Middle School in Hempstead, Wednesday where police said she nearly choked the life out of a veteran math teacher, CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported.

McKenzie was charged with second-degree assault, 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera reported.

McKenzie pleaded not guilty Thursday. She posted $10,000 bail and did not speak to reporters after her arraignment.

Police: Woman, Juvenile Charged With Assault On Hempstead Middle School Teacher

According to police, McKenzie struck the female teacher, put her in a headlock, causing her to lose consciousness, and threw her to the ground.

The teacher suffered a concussion, 1010 WINS reported, and was taken to Winthrop-University Hospital.

"She can barely talk. She is emotionally drained," said Elias Mestizo, president of the Hempstead Teacher's Association.

"The teacher fell to the ground. The teacher was put in a chokehold, lost consciousness for a few minutes," said Mestizo.

That's when police say McKenzie's 14-year-old niece joined in and punched the teacher, sprawled unconscious on the floor, in the head, Gusoff reported.

She was charged as a juvenile.

McKenzie claims tempers flared because earlier in the day because the teacher laid her hands on her daughter.

"Obviously she is very upset but you would also be upset if someone was manhandling your child," said McKenzie's attorney, Donald Rollock.

The union says there's no evidence the teacher touched the child who was misbehaving in a hallway, Gusoff reported.

Hempstead Superintendent Susan Johnson told Mestizo that the district acted swiftly in regards to the incident.

"We are doing everything possible to ensure a safe environment for students and the staff," said Hempstead School Board President LaMont Johnson. "The incident that took place we are doing our best to make sure it doesn't happen again."

The union is demanding a security review, saying McKenzie got past security without clearance.

"Yesterday we saw what we never want to see anywhere. We come here to teach. We come here to do our jobs. We do not come here to get hurt," said Mestizo.

The  teacher is in pain and is recovering at home. She was too shaken up to tell her story, but police say the attack on her was caught on video and it's now evidence in this criminal case, Gusoff reported.


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