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10 Teachers Who Were Attacked By Their Students’ Parents

by Sam Dunsmore
fact checked by Jamie Frater

We’ve already told you the stories of murderous teachers and college professors. We’ve even told you about teachers who completely lost their minds. On the flip side, some students frequently cause trouble for teachers and other students. But we like to think that parents are the voice of reason when there’s a problem with their kids at school.

Yes, teachers have to deal with angry parents at times. But these parents usually just verbally abuse teachers whenever they believe their children are being mistreated. However, some parents go further and violently attack their children’s teachers.

10 Catherine Lang-Engelhardt

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When Catherine Lang-Engelhardt confronted an unruly group of students, she confiscated one student’s lacrosse stick. She wrote the 12-year-old student up for cursing and not having a hall pass.

The student told her mother, Annika McKenzie, that the teacher had “pulled my arm and pushed me against the wall”—a claim that was never proven. McKenzie drove to the school, marched past the school’s security, and waited outside Lang-Engelhardt’s classroom.

When Lang-Engelhardt left her classroom, McKenzie confronted her. Lang-Engelhardt told McKenzie that she needed to get a pass from the security guards before they could speak. Instead, McKenzie struck the teacher, put her in a headlock, and threw her to the ground.

Lang-Engelhardt was quickly surrounded by students. She could not breathe and fell unconscious. While she was under, McKenzie’s 14-year-old niece punched the teacher and hit her with a bottle.

When Lang-Engelhardt regained consciousness, she was dizzy, had blurred vision, and had to be hospitalized. She had suffered a concussion.[1]

McKenzie was found guilty of assault and sentenced to six months in jail.

9 Stuart Devereux

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One of Stuart Devereux’s students refused to sit where he was told, and Stuart banished him from his classroom. Later that day, Stuart was asked to attend a meeting with the student’s mother, Tracey Buckley. During the meeting, Tracey said, “You wouldn’t bully my Jimmy (referring to her husband).” Then she added, “I hope he’s [Stuart] gone home before Jimmy hears about this.”

After the meeting, Tracey blocked the school’s parking lot exit with her car. Stuart was stuck behind her. Tracey’s husband, James, soon drove up. James jumped out of his van, ran to Stuart’s car, and yanked open the driver’s door. He screamed, “You won’t bully me.”[2] Then he began beating Stuart.

James punched Stuart up to 10 times in his head before another parent pulled him off. Stuart was treated at the hospital for swelling to his jaw, a graze to his ear, and bruising. He suffered headaches for four days.

James claimed that he attacked in self-defense. However, jurors rejected that claim. He was jailed for eight months.

8 Jennifer Thorne

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Jennifer Thorne was going outside to collect her students from the playground when she was attacked by Shan Shan Su and Derek Hoilett. Su grabbed Thorne’s scarf and coat and yanked the woman down the hallway. Hoilett pushed Thorne and then held back parents who tried to help her. Su was loudly screaming as if “she was possessed” while she punched and kicked Thorne.

The assault left the teacher with chronic pain and panic attacks.

Both Su and Hoilett were arrested. The couple claimed that Thorne had upset their son. The day before the assault, their seven-year-old son had gone home crying and the pair wanted revenge. Hoilett was found guilty and was sentenced to 150 hours of community service.

Su pleaded guilty. She was sentenced to a 12-month community supervision order and had to attend an education and training program. After she was sentenced, Su began to cry loudly and was asked to leave the court.[3] When she returned, she started shouting about her son’s treatment at the school before she was forced to leave.

7 Louise Ingram Royal

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Louise Royal was monitoring the halls when she noticed a parent, Neotha Fedd, wandering around. Royal approached Fedd, and she told the parent to get a pass from the office.

Fedd attacked Royal, kicking her repeatedly and dragging her by the hair down the hallway. People tried to help Royal, but Fedd ran them off. She grabbed a custodial broom and started to beat Royal with it.

Fedd was finally subdued after several minutes. Royal was rushed to the hospital. She lost vision in her right eye, suffered injuries to her jaw and arm, and suffered irreversible brain damage.

Royal was told that she would never be able to teach again. However, she said, “I’ll fight it until the day I die because it is my life and I can’t imagine living without educating children.”[4]

Fedd was arrested. She claimed that Royal had mistreated her son years ago, and Fedd wanted to take it out on Royal. Fedd was found guilty of assault and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

6 Megan Jones

Megan Jones was frustrated with the behavior of Shequella Sheala Leonard’s son, so she set up a parent-teacher conference. Leonard quickly became irate at the criticism of her son’s behavior, and the principal told Leonard to leave the building five minutes into the conference.

Once the group was in the hallway, Leonard pulled a bottle of lighter fluid from her purse and began spraying it on Jones’s face, arms, and chest. Leonard threatened to light the teacher on fire and burn the school down.[5]

Jones ran away when the liquid began burning her eyes. Fortunately, she suffered no permanent damage from the attack and was back in school the next day.

Leonard fled the school but was soon captured by police. She claimed that she was angry because her son was being mistreated. However, investigators found no evidence to support her claim. She was charged with assault.

5 Nancy Peer

Nancy Peer’s fourth-grade class was assisted by longtime parent volunteer Paul Joe Gonzalez Jr. Peer and Gonzalez were having a conversation. When Peer turned around, Gonzalez attacked her with a nine-inch kitchen knife.

Gonzalez fled the room, leaving 30 horrified students behind. Peer pulled out the knife and told a student to dial 911. Some of the other students went to find help, and one found a police officer. Peer was brought to the hospital where she was treated for a wound in her lower abdomen. She made a full recovery and returned to her old classroom five months later.

Police quickly caught Gonzalez. He confessed to the crime, saying that he had recently stopped taking his medication for a bipolar disorder. Gonzalez believed that Peer was part of a government plot against his family. He was sentenced to three years in prison.[6]

4 Janice Watkins

Janice Watkins confiscated a cell phone from one of her students, and the 10-year-old girl bit her in response. Watkins called the girl’s mother, Daishonta Williams, for a conference. During the meeting, the child said Watkins had choked her. Williams became angry and told Watkins that she was “going to get it later.”

Watkins got stuck in traffic when she left school that afternoon. As she was sitting in her car, she saw two people get out of a car behind her. Williams walked up to Watkins’s car and threw a brick through the open window. It hit Watkins in her face. Then Williams and her boyfriend yanked Watkins out of her car and began punching and kicking her.

Before the couple fled, Williams said, “I told you I would get you.”[7] Watkins dialed 911, and an ambulance took her to the hospital. She suffered facial injuries and lost a tooth.

Both Williams and her boyfriend were arrested.

3 Rosalind Simmons

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After school was dismissed, Rosalind Simmons sat at her desk and filled out a referral about one of her student’s behavior. Simmons had scolded the disruptive boy, and he told her to shut up.

The boy’s mother, Shakira Green, marched into the classroom. She walked around Simmons’s desk, asked what her problem was, and yelled threats at her. Simmons stood up and tried to get away from Green, who hit Simmons on the side of the neck with her elbow. Simmons blacked out and did not remember anything until she was outside her classroom.[8]

School staff overheard the commotion, ran inside the classroom, and restrained Green. She claimed that Simmons had mistreated her child and told a family member, “She [Simmons] didn’t know (child’s name) had a ghetto mama.”

Simmons was sent to the hospital where she was treated for a herniated disc in her neck and a severe headache. Green was charged with battery on a school board employee.

2 Phyllis White

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After Phyllis White disciplined one of her students, the child told his mother, Simone Baker, that White had scratched his neck. Baker was livid. She called the school and told them that she would soon be there. The principal met Baker and told the parent to schedule an appointment tomorrow.

Baker ignored the principal and ran into White’s classroom. She went behind the teacher’s desk and began hitting White in the face 5–10 times as she held White’s arm down. Baker grabbed White by her hair, picked her up out of her chair, and twice struck White’s head against a file cabinet. Baker yelled, “You better not touch my kid again.”[9] Then she left the classroom.

The next day, the student’s father brought the child to school. Police interviewed him, and the boy admitted that the teacher had never touched him.

Police soon caught Baker. She pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and was sentenced to two years’ probation.

1 Felecia Williams

Felecia Williams met with Sequita Thornton’s mother, Georgia, to discuss Sequita’s grades and sporadic attendance. Felecia was uncomfortable with the meeting and asked a school police officer to observe another meeting because she was afraid for her safety.

While Felecia was teaching, Sequita and Georgia burst into her classroom. They began arguing with Felecia, claiming that Felecia had given Sequita an outdated book. Felecia asked the pair to leave.

However, Georgia pushed past her and grabbed a book off her desk. When Felecia tried to get the book back, Georgia pulled Felecia’s hair and threw her to the ground. Then she and her daughter stomped on the teacher. Two students stopped the attack.

The assault left Felecia with severe neck and back pain, and she suffered from pain attacks. She did not return to the same school, although she did continue working as a teacher.

Georgia pleaded guilty. She claimed that she had beaten the teacher because Felecia “had it in [for her daughter so she] took care of this situation.”[10] Georgia was sentenced to one year in prison.


Read about the opposite problem—the bizarre stories of murderous teachers on 10 Disturbing Cases Of Teachers Killing Students and 10 Murderous College Professors.

fact checked by Jamie Frater