BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman condemned Thursday a recent child abuse incident in a north Lebanon school, a statement from his office said.
Sleiman tasked caretaker Education Minister Hassan Diab with following up on the issue, the statement added.
Elias Kamil Khoury, a 6th grade student, was abused by his teacher, Ugena Khritso, after he refused to carry out a punishment of writing 100 lines, each in a different color.
After he came to class without having completed the punishment, the teacher asked him to stand up and face the wall. Then he instructed all 26 of the students' classmates to slap his neck.
Khritso threatened her students that they would receive the same punishment if they did not beat their friend.
After returning home, the abused child was too scared to tell his family members what had happened, but his mother saw the marks of the abuse on his neck.
She filed a complaint against Lebanon’s Department of Education after she got a medical report proving her son was abused.
However, she told The Daily Star that she will now withdraw the complaint as the school administration called her and apologized.
“I do not wish to waste his academic year, but I hope this does not happen to any child over again,” she said.
For his part, caretaker Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour followed up the case with Diab and called for launching an investigation into the incident.
“An investigation [by the Education Department] into the case of the child who was beaten up in one of the public schools in Tripoli should be launched to inspect what really happened and take the necessary measures against those proved guilty in the physical abuse or those who incited it,” he said.
He said that the case is a “top priority because children have the right to get the protection they need especially in schools that are supposed to be a safe environment for our kids.”