Annika McKenzie, a New York woman and her teenaged niece are accused of beating a middle school teacher Catherine Engelhardt to the point of unconsciousness on Wednesday.
Hempstead Village police said she launched the attack after claiming the teacher had “put her hands on” her 12-year-old daughter earlier that day.
McKenzie is said to have walked past a security checkpoint and confronted Mrs Engelhardt, a 22-year veteran of the Hempstead School District, outside her classroom at 2pm.
It is claimed that she shoved the teacher against a wall, placed her in a headlock and then threw her to the floor in an incident caught on school surveillance cameras.
The teacher was then set upon by other pupils including McKenzie’s 14-year-old niece, it is alleged.
Elias Mestizo, who works at the school, told New York Daily News: “She’s taught in the middle school for over 20 years. She’s very passionate and committed about her job.
“I was talking to parents today and all spoke highly of her.”
McKenzie has been charged with second-degree assault and strangulation, while her niece, who has not been named, was charged as a minor.
Mrs Englelhardt, who reportedly lost consciousness during the brutal attack, spoke to New York radio station WABC.
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.”