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Syndicate welcomes move to examine tougher penalties against teachers’ assailants

By Laila Azzeh - Nov 02,2015 - Last updated at Nov 02,2015

AMMAN — With attacks on teachers reaching an “unprecedented” level this year, the Jordan Teachers Association (JTA) on Monday commended a Cabinet decision to study the imposition of tougher penalties on assailants. 

On Sunday, the Cabinet tasked its legal committee with studying the possibility of imposing stiffer punishments against those who attack teachers and doctors upon a recommendation by the education and health ministers.

The recommendation was made in light of the “concerning and shameful phenomenon” witnessed in the Kingdom.

“Putting an end to these occurrences is part of comprehensive efforts to entrench the rule of law,” said a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra.  

“Hundreds of cases of verbal and physical attacks against educators took place this year. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them do not reach court due to the pressure teachers face when deciding to press charges,” JTA Spokesperson Ayman Okour told The Jordan Times on Monday.

Okour noted that there are currently 70 cases of violence against teachers in court.

During Sunday’s session, the Council of Ministers also decided to amend Article 266 of the Penal Code to toughen penalties against those who issue fabricated medical reports to be presented at trials. 

The prison term for this offence was raised from between three months and one year to one to three years imprisonment. 

“This is a huge step forward. There are many incidents that forced teachers to drop charges after being falsely accused of attacking the assailants based on fabricated medical reports,” Okour said. 

Monday also witnessed an attack on a school principal’s car in Karak.

According to the JTA, the principal of Faqou School summoned the parents of several students to discuss their children’s behaviour. 

One student refused to bring his parents and damaged the principal’s car.

The principal dropped the charges after filing a complaint due to “societal pressure”, the JTA said. 

The syndicate is also calling for the establishment of an “education court” for teachers, a suggestion it has raised to the government and the Lower House. 

 

“The court should deal with complaints against teachers. It is not acceptable that teachers face arrest and detention for educational cases,” Okour said. 

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