A female teacher was stabbed to death in front of primary school children in the south of France on Friday by a student’s mother.
Children were just arriving at the Albi school when the incident occurred. It was the last day of the term at Edouard Herriot primary school, which serves 284 students ages three to 11.
"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," Albi prosecutor Claude Derens told AFP.
The woman who was attacked teaches 8- and 9-year-old children.
"When I arrived at the scene they were trying to revive her. She was in cardiac arrest in her classroom," Derens said.
The suspect was immediately detained by police. No information was provided about her relationship to the teacher or possible motive.
The attack comes just months after a study was released stating that almost half of primary school principals in France have been verbally or physically abused by parents.
"All the services of the state have been mobilized to take care of the children and the staff who witnessed this abominable drama,” said President Francois Hollande.
Education Minister Benoit Hamon was sent to the school to lead the government response.
A Hamon spokesman said the minister "is deeply shocked by this crime, which plunges the end of the school year into mourning."
"This tragedy confirms there is a need to fight against violence in and around schools, to protect schools, teachers and students,” he added.