An Egyptian court has sentenced a schoolteacher to 300 hours of community service work for beating a pupil to death because he had not done his homework.
Maths teacher Atilla bin Atwatt threw the 15 year-old schoolboy out of the third floor classroom window as an example, to impress on other pupils their responsibility to hand homework assignments in on schedule.
He told the Sharia court he only meant to discipline the pupil with a good scare and did not mean to really hurt him. However, as the pupil just lay on the concrete playground area where he had landed, moaning and groaning, and bleeding profusely, refusing to return to the classroom and stating he could not walk, Mr. bin Atwatt lost his temper, gave him several kicks in the guts and a few smacks round the head with his regulation claw hammer.
The teacher's lawyer was quoted as saying in court: "Hitting a difficult pupil is not banned in schools and my client did not break the law, only the pupil's skull."
Observers say the case has been seen as a shocking reminder of the failings of Egypt's state education system which has not been updated since the time of the First Dynasty Pharaohs, when torture and beheadings in schools were commonplace and an accepted norm.
The incident, at the Ronnie Nasser Institute of Sadism on the outskirts of Alexandria, has caused a national outrage.
Education Minister Achmed al Stupidius told reporters "We cannot find good trained schoolteachers as they all piss off abroad to work where the wages are better. Hence we get the chaff from the local prisons, copping an early parole plea if they take a teaching job, then struggling to control classes comprised of several hundred children."
"This was the problem with Mr. bin Atwatt, a recently released mass murderer who had taken an NVQ 1 teaching course while in the clink. The frustrations of academic life simply get too much for them to handle."
"We are trying hard to tackle violence in schools and have now issued new statements and regulations on the limits of corporal punishment, and have banned teachers from carrying guns, swords and cudgels."