The teacher, who denied the accusations against him, will pay a fine of MAD 40,000 for the victim.
Rabat – Morocco’s Court of First Instance in Taroudant, southern Morocco, sentenced a teacher to 10 months in prison for child abuse on Monday. The court suspended four months of the sentence, meaning that he will only serve 6.
Earlier this month, an 8-year old young girl accused her teacher of hitting her because she could not do math.
The little girl spoke to the press with her face covered in bruises She had black eyes and bruises on her face.
“It is the teacher who abused me. He hit me on the head and hands with a tube,” Meriem told reporters.
The Ministry of Education intervened and opened an investigation to determine the circumstances of the case.
The trial determined that the teacher, who initially accused the child’s parents of child abuse, was the perpetratir if the attack on Meriem.
The teacher denied the accusations against him, accusing the child’s mother.
Meriem’s family, however, refuted claims that her mother was involved in the abuse.
“Why would her mother do this to her?” the father asked the press during the investigation.
Videos of Meriem covered in bruises caused a backlash and divided public opinion.
While some people condemned the teacher, others showed solidarity with him and maintained his innocence.
Following the verdict, another teacher screamed to the court that he is not guilty.
“This is a shame, the guy is really talented and a high profile teacher. Should we become afraid of our students. Are they our enemies now,” she cried to the cameras.
As well as prison time, the teacher will also pay a fine of MAD 40,000. Meriem’s lawyers believe that the sentence is too light bearing in mind her the injuries, while the teacher appealed the verdict against him.
Morocco banned physical violence and insults against students in 1999.
In a note (n° 807/99 of September 23, 1999) Ismail El Alaoui, then Minister of National Education, urged teachers to “avoid using any form of physical or psychological violence against pupils.”
Article 408 of the Penal Code punishes beatings, injuries, violence, assaults committed against a child under the age of 15 with one to three years imprisonment (Article 408).