The Italian Almanac

I'm an idiot


Italy's top appeals court confirmed a 15-day prison sentence inflicted on a teacher for having made an 11-year old student write out "I am an idiot" one hundred times as a punishment. The Rome-based Court of Cassation ruled that school staff cannot respond to children's bullying attitudes with similar ones as this only goes to reinforce youngsters' errant ways.

Sentence n.34492 of the supreme court ruled that a middle-school teacher in the city of Palermo identified only as Giuseppa V. was guilty of "having abused the instruments of discipline and correction" at her disposal, at the expense of her student, identified as G.C..

Teachers cannot respond to young bullies in equally disruptive ways, as "this ends up reinforcing the conviction that school-based and social relationships are determined by power or strength," the sentence read. The court went on to say that the teacher had "mortified" the student's "dignity," hence going against the very educational process children are involved in.

The court said that the use of violence, whether physical or psychological, for educational purposes was not permitted.