The school principal who ordered his students to clean the school garden and then beat up twelve of them for quitting the task early has been suspended until the investigation is completed. The incident happened in Silifke, a district of Mersin in the eastern section of the Mediterranean region of Turkey. The principal hit the hands of the students with a big pair of compasses until they were injured and needed medical attention.According to the newspaper Mersin Yaşam, this information was provided by Ahmet Beyoğlu, district governor of Silifke. However, Aşkın Yaşar Topuzoğlu, a lawyer from İstanbul bar, whom Bianet interviewed, said that the public prosecutor should file a suit without a complaint from the parents.
“The public prosecutor should act every time there is a situation that involves every kind of exploitation and negligence against children and puts in jeopardy their mental, physical, moral and spiritual development.”
Topuzoğlu: The sentence increases by half when a person obligated to give protection commits a crimeReminding that this incident with physical violence also means violating the corporeal inviolability of the children, Topuzoğlu added the following: Those whose job is to educate children are much more responsible for their protection. According to the Penal Code, the sentence for this crime should be increased by half.
Dinçer: Students cannot be forced to do “Arms zone cleaning”
Alaaddin Dinçer, the head of the Education and Science Workers’ Trade Union, said that the teachers do not have the authorization to force students to do “Arms zone cleaning.“Above all, we should ask why they were not in class during this time. The primary responsibility of the school administration is that there are no empty classes, that they make sure all the classes have teachers. However, nobody can make students do cleaning in order to punish them. These activities can be done only if they benefit the children in some way.”
“The goal must be the utmost benefit of the student”
Topuzoğlu also said “these activities can be organized in order to have the students embrace the principle of ‘let us make our environment livable’, but the criteria should be the utmost benefit of the children.”
Different approach between the newspapers Mersin Yaşam and Radikal
While daily Radikal printed the names and the pictures of the students, the local newspaper Mersin Yaşam chose to hide the identities of the students, only publishing the picture of their injured hands. (TK/GG/TB)