A middle school teacher found guilty of discriminating against a student in Cuautla, Morelos, in August 2017 has been sentenced to three years in prison for inflicting moral and psychological damage on the child.
The state Attorney General’s Office said that from day one of classes at a middle school located in the Otilio Montaño neighborhood, the teacher, identified as Harlem, yelled at the 14-year-old girl in front of classmates and repeatedly humiliated her, resulting in her rejection by fellow students. The bullying continued throughout the school year.
The stress of ostracization by her peers and the constant berating on the part of her teacher caused the girl to suffer from facial paralysis, prosecutors said.
The student needed therapy to recover from the emotional and physical damage caused by the teacher’s actions, and her family spent more than 30,000 pesos (US $1,363) in medical costs to help the girl heal from the abuse.
Last week the teacher was found to have discriminated against the student, and she was sentenced on Monday. In addition to the three-year prison term, she was ordered to pay the child’s family 60,000 pesos (US $2,727) in damages, 30,000 for psychological damages and 30,000 for moral damages.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that Mexico ranks first internationally in cases of bullying, which affects more than 18 million children in both private and public schools.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that 92% of children surveyed in Mexico in 2009 reported having suffered some type of school violence by one of their classmates.
During a forum on the issue entitled Mental Health: Prevention of Suicide in Girls, Boys and Adolescents that took place in March 2020, the Mexican Psychiatric Association noted that children between 12 and 17 are experiencing more mental health problems.
More than 50 children under the age of 18 commit suicide each month in Mexico, according to the federal statistics agency Inegi.
Source: El Universal (sp)