Thursday, September 21

The Catalan teacher accused of assaulting a student for painting the Spanish flag is acquitted

Neither injuries nor ideological motivation. A judge in Terrassa (Barcelona) has acquitted the teacher accused of assaulting a student for having painted a Spanish flag in a school assignment, concluding that the events have “no political bias” and that the minor’s injuries “do not have been accredited.”

The case of this teacher from Terrassa dates back to June 2019. A fight between a teacher and a student was elevated by the media and right-wing parties (PP, Ciudadanos and Vox) to the category of harassment and discrimination of the Catalan school against the Castilian and any Spanish symbols. As happened with the teachers of Sant Andreu de la Barca, Justice has dismissed all the accusations.

The Generalitat filed the teacher for breaking the student’s work “in public”, but ruled out the aggression as well as that the teacher’s actions were guided by animosity towards the Spanish flag. Justice does not even consider proven the point that the teacher tore up the drawing, and limits itself to verifying that “there was a discussion” between the teacher and the student about the work, in the course of which the teacher “ordered the minor to leave Classroom”. Nothing more.

Since no witnesses in the trial directly witnessed the events, the judge can only assess the versions of the minor and the teacher. In his sentence, the magistrate gives greater credibility to the version of the teacher, whom he emphasizes has been “consistent” throughout the entire case in the face of the “contradictions” of the student.

The teacher recognized, both administratively and judicially, that she moved the chair away from the minor “without abruptness”, that she lifted her “by the armpits” and accompanied the girl out of the classroom, without her falling to the ground at any time. Her motive was, according to her version, “to restore her authority as a teacher” after the student had “disobeyed her twice the same morning.” The defendant’s account, the judge concludes, is “coherent, plausible and not at all absurd.”

Instead, the girl’s version changed over time and gave three different versions of what happened. First in the emergency room with her parents, then to the police and finally to the psychologists of the center. The judge highlights that the minor changed her version of the moment in which the teacher would have broken her drawing (first before and then after the alleged aggression). He also said that it was she who had gotten up to show the drawing to the teacher, only to correct herself later and say that it was the teacher who had approached her desk.

In her first statement, the minor said that the teacher had violently removed her chair and that she had fallen to the floor, but later she maintained that the teacher pushed her chair, causing it to bounce off the table. The medical report mentioned pain in her finger and her back, but without objective evidence.

The magistrate concludes that the version of the minor could have inaccuracies due to the past tense, because she explained the facts on several occasions or even because it could have been suggested, something that she does not specify. He also remembers that the minor felt angry, humiliated and embarrassed by the events, and that this could have led to hostility towards the teacher. Be that as it may, the judge acquits the teacher and dismisses the minor crime of injuries for which she was accused. The Prosecutor’s Office and the family of the minor requested a fine of 1,080 euros and, as compensation, 90 euros and 3,600 euros, respectively.