A young, popular high school Spanish teacher in New York City miscarried Wednesday after she was apparently elbowed in the belly and fell to the ground while breaking up a fight between two students.
Lissedia Batista, 27, of the Bronx, was four months pregnant. She was rushed to a hospital where doctors later determined she had lost her child.
The incident highlights the recurrence of classroom violence in New York and elsewhere across the country, and the risks teachers face every day.
Batista was recovering and mourning her loss in private Friday, a woman reached at Batista's home told ABC News.
The incident began as two 15-year-old students, one in ninth grade and the other in tenth, argued over a classroom chair, said Marge Feinberg, a spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Education.
The clash escalated into a physical fight, spurring Batista to intervene. Both students have since been suspended.
"This is a very sad incident, and my heart goes out to Mrs. Batista and her family," said Deputy New York City Mayor Dennis Walcott in a statement. "I reached out to the principal and Mrs. Batista to express my sincere condolences."
Batista is not expected to press charges against the two teens, because she said she didn't want them to end up in the criminal justice system, a person close to the teacher told WABC-TV.
Feinberg said Batista, who has two years of teaching experience, remains in close contact with the school, Explorations Academy, where she began teaching in September 2009. It's unclear whether she will return to the classroom this year.
Kristin Swanson, dean of the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an expert on miscarriage, said Batista faces a "constant coming to terms with loss.
"It's a death of a life that was short. It's a death that's a bit confusing, because you never got to meet the person you're grieving. But you're also grieving the loss of yourself as a mother or dad and the scenario around it that never gets to be," she said.
Linking Miscarriage to Fight Possibly 'Premature'
One in five pregnancies in America end in miscarriage. Most occur during the first three months of pregnancy, Swanson said.
But Swanson cautioned that linking Batista's miscarriage to the fight and fall may be premature.
"We don't know what ultimately could have caused it," she said. "It could very easily have been that there was a silent miscarriage happening all along and it just began to complete itself at that time -- coincidental to it, not caused by it."