A teacher at Malcolm X College on the West Side was stabbed in the back by a student on Tuesday as the teacher was at the blackboard going over a math problem.

The attack took place at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the college, 1900 W. Van Buren. The unidentified female instructor teaches an adult GED class at the school. The attacker, an unidentified, 40-year-old female student at the college, according to witnesses, became upset with the demonstration, took out a small steak knife and stabbed the teacher in the back and left shoulder. No one else was injured.

Another student tried to hold the woman down until building security arrived in the room, but she got away. The attacker was eventually nabbed by security in a stairwell, according to police. As of Wednesday, charges were pending against the woman, whom police want evaluated for mental illness. The woman, who has an arrest record that includes 27 misdemeanors, according to police, is being held at the Harrison Area police headquarters.

According to witnesses, the woman was experiencing odd behavior before the attack, and was asking questions repeatedly.

The teacher, 51, is recovering at home. The GED class resumed with another instructor.

Malcolm X College President Zerrie Campbell told reporters Tuesday that the attack was an isolated event.

“Nothing like this has ever happened at this school,” said Campbell. “This was a completely unprovoked attack.”

Campbell said the school will re-evaluate its security practices to determine how the knife got into the building.

CONTACT: tdean@wjinc.com