Sunday, April 19, 2015

Parent Strangles Teacher..........

Where do I begin? When I saw this story, and heard the details, I began to think that some children are doomed from the start. But we must remember that  the media version of events always makes Black people who are involved in any kind of altercation look like criminals.So if ayou don't consider the circumstances, it is easy to be fooled. Think about it! On the news I say a Black mother being taken away in handcuffs, and a teacher sprawled out on the floor knocked out cold. It's an ominous, and suggestive scene that begs the question, "what made this mother "go off"?

In Hempstead, New York, two people, an adult and a juvenile, have been arrested in connection with an assault on a teacher inside a middle school.

The alleged attack took place Wednesday at the Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School in Hempstead.

Police say 34-year-old Annika McKenzie assaulted the female teacher, identified as Catherine Engelhardt, with McKenzie's attorney, Donald Rollock, claiming the teacher had "put her hands on" McKenzie's 12-year-old daughter earlier in the day.

"As any loving parent, if someone puts their hand on your child, you're going to react," he said. Those of us as parents would be tempted to react. But none of us want to get caught up in a case of "when keeping it real goes wrong."

Hempstead Classroom Teachers Association President Elias Mestizo said Engelhardt is a veteran math teacher.

Mestizo said there was a security breach, with McKenzie walking into the building without being cleared by security. She reportedly went to the classroom and waited outside in the hallway for the teacher. As Engelhadt returned, there was a conversation about an "incident earlier in the day," and the teacher called for security.

Authorities say the teacher was shoved against the wall, placed in a headlock and thrown to the floor, where she was kicked and punched by several students, including McKenzie's 14-year-old niece who followed her aunts lead. The teen was arrested, and both suspects are being charged with second-degree assault. McKenzie also faces a charge of strangulation. 

The teen is being charged as a juvenile, and her case will be handled in family court.

The picture above shows the teacher who appears to be unconscious on the ground. Another staff member came to help, and the victim was taken to Winthrop University Hospital.

"Yesterday, we saw what we don't want to see anywhere in any school," Mestizo said. "Many teachers throughout the district and in this school also do not feel safe in the building, and there are reasons for that. And action needs to be taken immediately."

Engelhardt is now recovering at home, where she spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News.

"It's not like I thought a parent would do something, but I knew something violent was going to happen," she said. "I've warned them time and again that the children have no respect for adults. Yes, I fear for my safety. They can't control the kids."

Hempstead Superintendent Susan Johnson told Mestizo that the district acted swiftly in regards to the incident, but he says she stopped short of agreeing to a wider investigation.

Hempstead Village Police Chief Michael McGowan said McKenzie had not filed a police report claiming the teacher attacked her daughter earlier in the day, so at this point, that is not something they're investigating. The claim is only coming from the lawyer at this point. 



  1. Having spent the first 5 years of my schooling in Fairmont, NC--I was quite unprepared to attend school in Jamaica, NY during my 6th year. My parents had come to NY and my sister and I lived with relatives in Jamaica. On the first day of school at Shimer High or Junior High (l have blocked that from my mind), a woman came into the school and pulled a knife on the teacher, Mrs. Schechter. Apparently, the woman stated that Mrs. Schechter had kept her son "back" a grade. Mrs. Schechter was quite calm considering the circumstances. I ran from the room--I had NEVER seen anything like that. Of course, I immediately contacted my parents and refused to go back to that school. They eventually moved us to Rye, NY; however, I want to say that my parents saw that we did our homework; they went to PTA Meetings and if there was a problem with a teacher, my parents discussed it with the teacher and the principal. This stuff about hitting a teacher, pulling knives and guns on teachers is foreign to me.

    1. It's a tough call for me. When I told Belin about the story she said that she couldn't be sure that she would "take action" against the teacher. But on the other hand this mother is facing jail time. My first instinct would probably be to "do something" also. But I doubt I'd allow my children to get in on it. Times have definently changed. I've seem a teacher or two get cursed out my day. But beat up & knocked out?! NO