Teacher-student scrap sparks police investigation

The video clip shows a teacher throwing something, followed by the student and teacher rolling around on a table and grabbing each other. The incident has been reported to the police and is being treated as an assault.

Luleå 12 september 2023 14:30

Last Thursday, police were called to a secondary school in Luleå where a teacher and student were fighting outside a classroom.

In the video clip that circulated on social media and was seen by our sister newspapers, Kuriren and NSD, a student with a ball, and a teacher are seen clashing with the teacher saying, "Now stop with the damn ball."

Then the teacher pushes the student over a table, and a scuffle ensues. The teacher and student grab each other, but the fight then stops when another student intervenes.

The school's principal confirms that a fight did occur, but insists the video clip in circulation is being taken out of context.

– A teacher tried to take a ball from a student. The ball was in the study hall; students were kicking it around, and one student was hit in the head with it. The teacher tried to stop it, the principal said.

The school is investigating the incident, and the principal says it's clear there was a confrontation.

– The teacher is trying to intervene. Teachers have the right to intervene physically without hitting. There's a difference, and the Education Act has become clearer on this issue, the principal explains.

Is it your opinion that the teacher has the right to do what he does in the video?

– We are still investigating; the police are also involved. They will decide whether it's a crime or not.

Do you think the teacher crossed the line?

– If you look at the situation, the teacher got angry, raised his voice and tried to take the ball. But in what unfolded, of course, one might think he went too far, but at the same time, he didn't hit the student. He intervened and did what he was supposed to do.

The teacher was not suspended during the investigation, and the school did not file a police report.

– I don't think it's a crime, says the principal.

So you think the teacher did the right thing?

– No, I didn't say that, but I don't think it's a crime. You have the right to step in when an incident occurs, and we will deal with it within the school.

However, the incident was reported to the police by someone other than the school. 

Erik Lampinen, the lead investigator, says an investigation is underway, and it is being classified as an assault.

– We haven't done much yet, but there will be interviews. There are a lot of cameras in this school, and the footage is being reviewed. At the moment, no one is suspected of anything, he says.

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