Community service for teacher who dragged pupil

The father of the pupil re-enacting how his son was allegedly pinned on a table in class.

A primary school teacher who forcibly dragged an 11-year-old boy with behavioural issues out of class for not following instructions was yesterday ordered to do 60 hours of community service. The incident occurred last year at a top primary school in the east.

In court yesterday, the boy's father took the unusual step of asking to speak before sentencing. The 65-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the boy's identity, said in Mandarin that his son had been having nightmares after the incident.

He demanded "redress" for his son, who is now 13 and in secondary school, including compensation for future medical expenses. But District Judge Christopher Goh replied that the "proper avenue" for this was the civil courts.

The boy has been diagnosed with autism spectrum and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

On July 2 last year, the boy and his 50-year-old mother had arrived late at his primary school as he had not been feeling well.

She waited a short distance away after leaving him standing outside his classroom, which was empty as the other pupils were at assembly.

After leading the boy's classmates back, the teacher asked him why he was late. The boy remained silent. The teacher told him to stand outside while his classmates entered the classroom. But the boy went in anyway.

Frustrated with his disobedience, the teacher pulled the boy by his arms and dragged him to the room next door, even as the pupil put up resistance. The boy's mother saw what happened, told the vice-principal, and lodged a police report later that day.

The teacher pleaded guilty to using criminal force. In his mitigation documents, his lawyer said that he had been stressed at the time - from his work at school and having to handle "tantrums" thrown by the boy, who had been under his charge for years.

He could have been jailed for up to three months and fined $1,500.

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