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Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 05:50 GMT 06:50 UK
Headteacher slapped 'difficult' pupil
Generic classroom
The teacher, who cannot be named, denies the charge
A schoolboy has told a court how his headteacher slapped him across the face for sulking over being banned from a swimming lesson.

Teacher Mrs X - who cannot be named for legal reasons - is accused of using her "open palm" to slap the 10-year-old pupil at a junior school in south east Wales.


Generic classroom
The teacher claims the pupil punched her

The court heard that the headteacher - who has been suspended since the alleged incident in September last year - was having to help out in the classroom because of a staff absence.

Prosecutor Christopher Rees said: "She was faced with a difficult pupil. Mrs X momentarily lost her self control and slapped the boy.

"It was not necessary to defend herself and it could not be described as reasonable force. Quite simply she lost her temper."

The teacher denies the assault, claiming the boy had tried to punch, push and head-butt her.

Learning difficulties

The boy, who has learning difficulties, had wanted to go on a swimming lesson. But, the hearing was told, he had been banned for bad behaviour.

"When Mrs X told him he was not to go swimming he became sullen and a little unruly," Mr Rees said.

"A little later the head took the boy out of the class and into the main building because he refused to get on with his work.

'Physically difficult'

"It was during this walk that the boy became physically difficult and was struggling with [Mrs X]. It was then that she slapped him."

The pupil said the headteacher had grabbed him, picked up equipment on his desk, pushed it against his chest and taken him outside.

"I pushed her and she fell backwards onto the bench," he told the court.

"Before she slapped me across the face, I pinched her hand and she let me go."

The teacher later voluntarily went to police to be interviewed.

She denies one charge of assault on the boy, now aged 11.

The trial continues.

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