COURT RULING

"Teachers should tolerate a little violence from pupils"

A teacher who was assaulted by a teenage pupil will receive no compensation after a court in Sweden ruled that the teaching profession can be compared to the police. "Teachers should be able to tolerate a little violence" according to the court in Gällivare.

The National Union of Teachers is incensed by the judgement.

The head of the union, Metta Fjelkner told SVT;

It is a very remarkable verdict and above all it is very remarkable that one says that teachers should tolerate a little beating. This should not stand. I say: No, teachers should not tolerate this."

Later this evening, Education Minister Jan Björklund said he was prepared to oversee a change in the law.

"I cannot accept as education minister that Sweden should have a stance that a teacher should take a little punishment and put up with it. This wholly undermines a teachers authority," Björklund told the media.

He added that the court cannot compare teaching to the police as "they have weapons and are trained to deal with violent situations."

The teenager had behaved badly in the school food hall and the teacher intervened. The boy reacted by kicking, hitting and threatening the teacher. Gällivare district court sentenced the boy to 30 hours youth service. However the teacher received no compensation.

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