Police said an adult and a juvenile were arrested in connection with the assault of a Hempstead middle school teacher Wednesday that the faculty's union leader said underscored lax campus security across the district.
Hempstead Village police did not reveal the identities or the genders of the suspects in the afternoon attack at Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School.
Elias Mestizo, president of the Hempstead Classroom Teachers Association, said the female victim is a math teacher. He said a video of the alleged assault was posted on Facebook but he had not seen it.DataLI crime stats
Police did not reveal details about the attack or the charges.
Mestizo said that when he got to campus afterward, witnesses told him a woman walked past security and the administration office before confronting the teacher about issues with a child for whom she is guardian.
It was unclear what relationship the arrested juvenile had to the victim or the woman.
Mestizo said witnesses told him the woman had the teacher in a headlock and threw her onto the floor, knocking the teacher momentarily unconscious. The teacher was taken to a hospital, but her condition was not known.
At Wednesday night's Hempstead school board meeting, Mestizo told board members that "today we saw exactly what we should never see and we are disgusted." He said administrators have been alerted to safety concerns but that security was not improved.
"A couple of teachers have raised issues that students have threatened that they would be raped or killed," he told the board. He also asked the board "not only to investigate the matter but to make a public report" of past threats.
Hempstead Superintendent Susan Johnson told Mestizo the district is doing all it can to address Wednesday's assault, but she stopped short of agreeing to a wider investigation.
"We acted swiftly in regards to this incident. There was video we had to review" to help in the criminal investigation, Johnson said. "Each one of those individuals who were involved has been served penalties."
In an interview before the meeting, Mestizo said lax security was his first concern.
"She was left unconscious on the floor for a couple of minutes," he said of the teacher. "It shouldn't have happened."
School board president Lamont Johnson said during a break in the meeting that "student safety and staff safety is of utmost concern to the board" and that "there's definitely an investigation going on."