New York Teacher Attack speaks Volumes but from only one side

Nothing bothers me more than the desire some feel that inflicting pain on another is ever justified for any reason.  I am especially bothered by those calling them role models or parents failing to set the proper example and then wonder why our jails and prisons are so filled.

The article that conjures up this distaste in my mouth is one titled “Attack by mom and juvenile niece knocks NY teacher out cold” as reported by the Huffington Post.  The article details that “an attack on a New York teacher by Annika McKenzie – a double team attack and beat down by a mother and her juvenile, 14-year-old niece – left a teacher unconscious on a school hallway floor. The teacher, identified as Catherine Engelhardt, was beat to the point of unconsciousness on Wednesday after McKenzie stormed into the school and placed the math teacher in a headlock while her niece pummeled her in the face.  Writes the HuffPost: “Annika McKenzie, 34, is charged with second-degree assault and strangulation. Her 14-year-old niece is facing second-degree assault charges as a juvenile. McKenzie allegedly became incensed because she believed that a math teacher at Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School in Hempstead, Long Island ‘put her hands on’ her 12-year-old daughter.”  According to officials, McKenzie was able to enter the school via a “breach in security,” and waited outside of Engelhardt’s classroom. When the teacher arrived, McKenzie confronted Engelhardt about her daughter’s claim that she put her hands on her. The irate mother allegedly then physically and brutally assaulted her daughter’s teacher.  Adds WABC out of New York: “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. The teen was arrested, and both suspects are being charged with second-degree assault. McKenzie also faces a charge of strangulation.”

What this says about our society and especially about us as human beings is the need to display our dominance not by intelligence but simply by brute force.  It is reported that “Donald Rollock, an attorney for McKenzie, said his client reacted the way any parent would.” But I have to ask is that really the way any parent would have acted.  I might be walking around wearing rose-colored glasses but I would like to think that a wiser person would have investigated the complaint then sought a way to have that teacher not only removed from that school system but any school system.  This erases any possibility of this teacher ever putting her hands on another child, if it is true.  No child is an angel and free from sin, we all color the story to better reflect us so to assume that it truly happened without the necessary proof is like trying to get to the other side of the lake in a boat with holes all in the bottom of it.

What this also tells us, if true, is the lack of oversight teachers receive and the lack of representation that students have in these institutions.  What if this was not the first time this teacher placed her hands upon a child and the administration of this school district turned a blind eye?  Regardless, people need to understand that the way this was handled is not the best way because nothing gets solved and all that could have fixed this situation is now ignored because we all head straight to our neutral corners to come out fighting each other instead of fighting the problem.


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