Mum jailed for punching officer at son's school

Unhappy with a pupil welfare officer at her son's school for nudging the child's back, a mother confronted the woman and punched her face multiple times.

On Tuesday (Sept 25), the 49-year-old Singaporean administrative officer was jailed for six weeks after pleading guilty to one count of assaulting a public servant.

The two women and the school cannot be named, as this case involved a minor whose identity must be protected.

The mother accompanied her seven-year-old son to his primary school in the southern part of Singapore at around 7.30am on May 19 last year.

She noticed that he was reluctant to enter the premises when they reached the gate, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Quek Jing Feng.

The 32-year-old pupil welfare officer then approached the pair.

DPP Quek said the officer, in trying to get the boy to hurry to the assembly hall, as he was about to be late for assembly, used her hand to nudge his back.

"Upon seeing the victim's actions, the accused became angry and punched the victim's face."

She then shouted at the officer and continued to rain blows on both sides of the victim's face, said the DPP.

There were many parents and pupils in the vicinity at that time, the court heard.

The officer apologised to the mother and told the school's management about the altercation.

The police were notified and the officer, who had pain in her jaw, was taken to Singapore General Hospital.

The Education Ministry told The Straits Times that the officer is still with the ministry. It added that it provided with her emotional support after the incident.

DPP Quek urged District Judge Edgar Foo to sentence the mother to two months' jail, stressing that she had punched a vulnerable part of her victim's body - her face.

The DPP also said the attack had taken place in the school compound, where pupils should be allowed to feel safe.

Defence lawyer Ng Boon Gan, assigned to the case under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, pleaded for his client to be given a two-week jail sentence.

He told Judge Foo that she was an overprotective mother and that the officer had suffered no visible injuries.

For assaulting a public servant, the woman could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2018, with the headline 'Mum jailed for punching officer at son's school'. Print Edition | Subscribe