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Mom claims she blacked out before attack on son’s kindergarten teacher

Posted at 6:30 AM, Dec 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-04 08:07:53-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The woman accused of assaulting her son's kindergarten teacher will undergo a mental evaluation, per a judge's order. Elishia Branch was banned from Linwood Holton Elementary School, where the alleged attack occurred, and has been barred from contacting the teacher.

Branch attacked her son’s teacher inside the school before the school day started October 21, police said. Sources familiar with the attack, which happened inside the school, said Branch repeatedly slammed the teacher's head into the concrete floor.  Students did not witness the "unprovoked" attack.

Prosecutors said in court Thursday that Branch claimed she "blacked out" because of medication she was taking and does not recall any details of the incident.

The victim in the case was in the courtroom too.  Richmond Public School officials said she is back teaching and in "good spirits" considering what happened.

"Our main focus is to be supportive of our teachers, but also the profession," Dr. Dana Bedden, superintendent of Richmond Schools, said. "What we hope is taken into account is the shock waves sent through the system."

Dr. Bedden said they have taken steps to tighten the security inside Holton Elementary while simultaneously maintaining the intimate parent-teacher relationships many at the school have worked so hard to build.

Branch's case is set for a status hearing on January 29 where the results of her mental evaluation is expected to be discussed.  She declined to comment as she exited court.