Teacher who forced ADHD pupil out of classroom, sentenced to community service

SINGAPORE - A primary school teacher was on Thursday sentenced to 60 hours of community service for using force to pull a pupil out of a classroom last year.

He had been frustrated with the 11-year-old for entering the class despite being told to stand outside as punishment for being late. So he pulled the child, who was suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dragged him all the way to the room next door. The incident took place at a top primary school in the east.

The court heard that around 10.30am on July 2 last year, the boy and his mother had arrived at the school late, as he had not been feeling well. She waited a short distance away after leaving him standing outside his classroom, which was empty as the other pupils had not yet returned from morning assembly.

After leading the boy's classmates back, the 36-year-old teacher asked him why he had been late. The boy remained silent. He told him to stand outside while his classmates entered. But the boy did not listen to his instructions. This was when the teacher, who pleaded guilty to using criminal force, committed the offence. The mother, who witnessed what had happened, immediately reported it to the vice-principal and lodged a police report later that day.

For using criminal force unprovoked on the boy, who is in secondary school now, the teacher could have been jailed for up to three months and fined $1,500.

pohian@sph.com.sg