Luxor misdemeanour court, headed by Chancellor Mohamed Al-Tamawy, handed the female teacher accused of cutting the hair of two students a six month suspended prison sentence.
Eman Abou Bakr Kilany was accused of cutting the hair of 12-year-olds Mona Berbesh and Ola Mansour for not wearing the hijab, at the Hadadeen primary school. She did not attend the court session but was represented by five of her lawyers, in addition to some members of her family.
The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood filed the initial lawsuit against Kilany. They could not be reached for a comment on the verdict.
Kilany admitted to cutting almost seven centimetres of the two girls’ hair.
Ramy Ghanem, human rights lawyer, said that the verdict was predictable. He explained that it stressed the notion of punishment by issuing the sentence, while on the other hand it maintained and protected the prestige of teachers in general, by suspending the sentence.
Ghanem suggested that laws and regulations should control the relations between students and teachers to avoid such incidents. “Many teachers are insulted and disrespected by students, while other teachers preach the liberty and dignity of students. Laws should be imposed to control this hectic situation.”
The previous session witnessed extensive security precautions, although the defendant did not attend.
First secretary of the Ministry of Education in Luxor, Zakaria Abdel Fatah, deducted one month from the teacher’s salary as a fine. Abdel Fatah also transferred the teacher and the principal of the school to Al-Qarna administrative unit.
Mohamed Abdel Salam, director of information department in the National Council for Women (NCW), said the council issued statements condemning the teacher’s actions. He added that the council visited the school were the incident took place, in addition to the girls’ families. Abdel Salam refused to comment on the verdict, saying that verdicts of judiciary should be respected.
Abeer Aboul Ella, director of the press office at the NCW, said that the whole case was raised to protect the dignity of students and children and to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. Regarding the verdict, Abeer said it was not possible to have a stronger verdict, as the current laws dealing with women and children’s rights in Egypt do not allow harsher punishment.
“I wish the teacher would apologise to the students in front of their colleagues, just like they were humiliated by her in front of them. This is more important than the verdict.” said Abeer.