PARIS — The mother of a pupil at a French preschool stabbed a teacher to death in front of her class Friday, the last day of the school year, authorities said.
Education Minister Benoit Hamon said the mother apparently had "serious psychiatric problems," and pledged support for teachers in the face of angry or violent parents. Police said the mother was taken into custody.
Deadly attacks in a school are extremely rare in France, and the stabbing in front of a class of 5- and 6-year-olds raised concern at the highest levels. French President Francois Hollande expressed outrage at the attack at the Edouard Herriot school in Albi in southern France.
Hamon said the woman's child had been in the school only a month and a half, and that the woman had had very little contact with the school staff until Friday. It was unclear whether her 5-year-old daughter was in class at the time of the attack.
Police would not comment on possible reasons for the attack on Fabienne Terral-Calmes, 34, who had two small daughters.
Marie-Odile Gay, an official with the Education Ministry, said the mother thought the teacher had called her daughter a thief, and that misperception might have played a role in the attack.
Gay said that the mother, 47, had received psychiatric counseling in the past, and had been accused by police this year of abandoning her 15-year-old son.