Qatar principal sued for stabbing student with pencil

December 6, 2011

A Qatar school principal could face assault charges after she stabbed a second grade student with a sharp pencil on his hand, arm and back.

According to the boy’s parents who are suing the school, the principal said that she wanted to “re-educate” the boy and that experiencing pain was the best way to improve his behaviour.

“It all started when my son and a classmate had a small fight,” the mother said, quoted by Qatari daily Al Sharq. “The next day, my son was called in the principal’s office. When he got there, she took out a pencil, sharpened it, took my son’s right hand and started stabbing it until he started bleeding,” she said.

Even though the boy, who was not named, burst into tears and pleaded with her to let him go, the principal continued the stabbing, she said.

“She told my son that she wanted him to feel the pain in order not to get into a fight with your classmate again. And when a teacher wanted to wipe the blood off his hand and arm, the principal refused. She then ordered him to stand against the wall and she stabbed him three times on the back until he fell from the pain and the screams. She kept telling him that she would re-educate him,” the mother said.

The student who was not sent to the school clinic reported the incident to his parents upon returning home.

“When my husband phoned the school, the principal told him that she was convinced that she did the right thing arguably because it is the only way that is good for our son and that she uses violent ways with her little son as well. We took our son to the doctor and to the police,” the mother said.

According to the daily, the principal will be soon summoned by the public prosecution investigating the case.

The incident has re-opened the debate in Qatar about the use of corporal punishment in schools, a practice that has been strictly banned by the education authorities.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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