A high school teacher in his fifties appeared before court today for allegedly striking a 16-year-old and said he reacted inappropriately but was being "harassed" by students.
"I was harassed by the students, and I responded wrongly," the 58-year old teacher, identified as Ronny C., said, according to Het Nieuwsblad.
The incident took place in 2017, when the teacher, who had been working in the school for over 30 years, was supervising 12 students who were sent to detention for using pepper-spray in class.
The group of students were reportedly misbehaving and the teacher could not get them to settle down. According to reports by HLN, the students started dancing around the teacher after one of them was denied permission to leave early.
The teacher then reportedly pushed one of the students, a then 16-year-old girl who argues that she was actually punched by him and informed the police.
Attempts by the school to resolve the situation outside a courtroom failed after the student insisted she wanted the incident to be brought before a court, saying her account could be corroborated by eye-witnesses.
The teacher's defence argued that the students in question were "rude teenagers" and that his client had "responded to the provocation of the young ladies."
The court is expected to rule on the case on 13 November.
The Brussels Times