A high school in Germany will have a larger security presence after a Muslim student was suspended for assaulting a teacher who objected to another Arab student provocatively waving a Palestinian flag in the schoolyard.
The incident occurred at the Ernst-Abbe-Gymnasium school on Monday, initiated by a 14-year-old student who arrived at the school wearing a Palestinian flag as a cape and wrapping a Palestinian scarf around his head.
The student was asked by a 61-year-old teacher to refrain from displaying the items in adherence with the school’s policy against the wearing of political symbols.
According to a police statement, another Arab student, a 15-year-old boy, confronted the teacher and squared up to him in a threatening manner. The student headbutted the teacher, prompting the educator to respond in self-defense by striking the boy in the face. The teacher was then subsequently kicked to the floor and beaten.
Footage of the incident was published online by left-wing lawmaker Ferat Koçak.
According to the German newspaper Tagesspiegel, the two students involved in the altercation have been suspended until the end of the week, while the teacher is also under investigation.
The school’s leadership convened a crisis meeting with the local education authority and the police to discuss how to handle the incident and avoid a repeat of the situation.
“One thing is clear: Teachers must not be aggressive or violent toward students,” said a spokesperson for the education administration.
“Our top priority is to ensure school peace. We will not tolerate condoning the terrorist attacks on Israel in our schoolyards,” they added.
Senator for Education, Youth and Family of the State of Berlin Katharina Günther-Wünsch has called for wider discussions in schools about the ongoing conflict in the Middle East between Palestine and Israel over fears that tensions could spill over into diverse areas of Germany.
“It is to be feared that manifest or latent Israel-related anti-Semitism plays a role among some students. It is advisable to talk to the students about the events and help them to classify them,” she warned in an email to school management on Monday.