Saudi Arabia will hand a ten year jail term and/or a fine of one million riyals ($266,188) to anyone who physically assaults a teacher or any school staff member, reported Gulf News. The law also extends to those who verbally abuse teachers.
The rule has reportedly been put in place due to a recent rise in the number of incidents in which teachers were brutally attacked. Last year, a high school student beat up his teacher in broad daylight on a street while his friend filmed the attack.
At the time the video went viral on social media showing the student confronting his teacher before slapping and punching him. In 2018, a Saudi high school teacher in Taif was left bleeding and injured after one of his students punched him in class while he was registering class attendance.
That same year, a teacher sustained a head injury after being struck with a rock by a student. The year before, a student in the city of Dhahran also attacked his teacher, causing facial injuries.
The law was previously announced in 2018 by then-Minister of Education Ahmed Al-Issa. “Any physical attack against any of the ministry’s staff will be considered homicidal crime that warrants imprisonment and fine,” he was quoted as saying at the time by local media.