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Mother stabs French teacher to death in front of students

A female teacher was stabbed to death in front of her pupils by a student’s mother on Friday (July 4) at Albi’s Edouard Herriot primary school in France.

The attack took place around 9am (3pm, Singapore time) as classes began on the last day of the term.

The school has 284 pupils between the ages of three and 11. 

Prosecutor Claude Derens said: "This morning, a mother showed up with a knife and stabbed a 34-year-old teacher in front of her students, for reasons that will be determined by the investigation."

"When I arrived at the scene they were trying to revive her. She was in cardiac arrest in her classroom," he said.  

The victim, a mother of two young children, taught in the school’s kindergarten.

Students and teachers were evacuated from the school immediately after the attack.  

It is not known if the assailant's child was in the classroom at the time of the stabbing. The 47-year-old woman was quickly detained after the attack.

Education Minister Benoit Hamon (pictured below), who rushed to the school to coordinate the government's response, told journalists that the woman appeared to have “psychiatric problems”.

He said: "This is an appalling act, a murder, a murder of a teacher in her classroom, in front of her students, by a woman who... seems to suffer from significant psychiatric problems."

President Francois Hollande (pictured below) offered the government’s full support to those involved.  

He said in a statement: "All state services will be mobilised to take care of these children and the staff who witnessed this awful tragedy."

The incident comes amid concerns in France over assaults on teachers, with a study released on Thursday saying that education workers were twice as likely to be threatened and insulted than people in other professions.

Still, it is still extremely rare for teachers in France to be killed in connection with their work, with only four known cases in the last 30 years.

Source: AFP

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