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Teacher violence increases against Iraqi students

The recent case of an 8-year-old Iraqi girl who was beaten for not wearing a headscarf has highlighted the ongoing use of violence as a form of punishment in Iraqi schools.
Students attend a class on the first day of the new school term in Kerbala, 110 km (68 miles) south of Baghdad, September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Mushtaq Muhammed (IRAQ - Tags: EDUCATION SOCIETY) - RTX13Y2I
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Third-grade student Fatima, 8, was harshly beaten by her religious education teacher for not wearing the veil. This incident happened in the Khawla Bint Al Azwar School in the Madaen district of Baghdad on Nov. 15. Different photos and reports showed marks of the harsh beating on her face, where red and purple bruises clearly appeared alongside impressions of fingers.

Fatima is one of many Iraqi children who suffer from violence in school. This phenomenon has become very worrying for activists and civil society groups, which demand an end to the violence and call for imposing strict sanctions on the perpetrators and avoiding the coercion of students because of their religious and personal opinions.

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