Video Surfaces In Jordan Of A Public School Student Being Abused

The video supposedly shows a first grader at a Jordanian public school being verbally and even physically abused by a “teacher” during a math class when he is unable to write a number on the chalkboard. He is seen begging the teacher and the person filming for protection. Chuckling can be heard in the background. While the video speaks for itself as to the event, I know next to nothing about its details even though it seems to be spreading through the Jordanian online sphere. I was tempted to write something but knowing none of the details other than it appearing to be a Jordanian public school and an abused child who is in tears – I feel the most responsible course of action is to bring this to the attention of any one who has any information and/or details about this video, its origin, where the school is, who filmed it, etc. This information is necessary to verify what happened and hold people accountable.

On a side note, I’m wondering if all public schools in Jordan should be equipped with cameras.

 UPDATE: Her Majesty Queen Rania responds. Good to know this garnered some top-level attention.

UPDATE #2: The teacher has been found by the Ministry of Education. The boy is indeed a first grade student in a public school in Amman’s fifth district. According to AmmanNet, the Minister of Education, Dr. Khaled Karaki, personally apologized to the student and announced that the teacher, and all teachers who carry out such acts, will be punished accordingly. An investigatory committee is formulating a report on this specific incident and will make recommendations to the ministry.

All that said, this kid was fortunate enough to have had this video aired online, and to garner enough attention from up top to start a search that would lead in finding him and his teacher. The many others that face this kind of abuse and worse are not so lucky. This incident spawned a seemingly endless discussion about education reform in this country, specifically on Twitter and the #ReformJO hashtag. These kinds of discussions are just a small indication of how large this problem is. And the fact that it badly needs to be addressed once and for all.

49 thoughts on “Video Surfaces In Jordan Of A Public School Student Being Abused

  1. I just have one question how do you know this is a jordanian public school?
    You mentioned in the caption that you know nothing other than what is shown in the video

  2. I had a first grade teacher that held my friend out the window and threatened to throw him out ( we were on the 3rd floor as far as I recall) and this was a private school. Violence is so pervasive in Jordanian society its ridiculous

  3. @liza: other than the video saying it’s jordanian….the accents are as jordanian as it gets in my opinion.

    @ryan: unfortunately, the government tends to frame these events as an exception, when they are anything but.

  4. I was honestly shocked when I first saw this. Yes kids do get on teachers’ nerves, but this is just too much.
    I really hope someone can get to the bottom of this and make sure this woman is never put in charge of children of any age ever again.

    I’ve forwarded this video to the digital media director of the prime ministry, and he assured that he in turn has forwarded it to the right authorities.
    Lets hope something is done.

  5. As you mentioned the video is spreading on twitter like crazy. The two persons in this video should be held accountable for this video. It is disturbing and shocking. Whatever the reason was to shoot this video it is wrong.
    The video is spread to show the abuse used on a first grader student. But here are my other concerns as well:
    1) Why there are two teachers in the class?
    2) Why the teachers are using a camera in class?
    3) In other situations where no abuse is used are teachers allowed to film their students without a written approval of their parents?

    I think an urgent action should be taken against these two teachers to know more about this incident.

    p.s. for some reason the video was edited to look longer.

  6. Sadly this is all too common in public schools, although not all. The question I have is what are the school inspectors doing? As to the person filming the child – perhaps it’s a relative??

    And we wonder why today we have so much violence on university campuses ….we just have to look to the recent past to understand why.

    Time to stamp out corporal punishment and inept teachers …. zero tolerance should be applied …

  7. Sometimes we need such dramatic videos to nudge officials to act/react. Responsibilities should be accompanied with accountability. The teacher, the principle of the school and the Minister of Education should resign and/pr fired. Maybe this will prompt other teachers, school principles and future Minister to ensure that such abuse will not take place.

  8. This is what I have been talking about for long time now, the question that begs it’s self who is responsible for this torture and yes it is torture with the absolute meaning of the word ,is it the teacher?, is it the school?, is it the principal?, is it the Ministry of “Eduction”? or is it “our” government or the minister of “Education” , or is it the lack of Democracy , transparency and accountability?. I believe it is all of the above, so where do we start?
    من أين نبداء وكيف، الشعب يجب أن يأخد بزمام الأمور الآن وليس غداً

  9. I don’t understand Arabic, but if a child can look like this in any classroom, something is going extraordinarily wrong. I would suggest that this teacher needs some urgent training in child psychology and classroom behaviour management because behaving like this is in no-one’s best interests: obviously not the child’s and nor for the sake of the teacher’s mental health. Imagine being this stressed all day every day…

  10. I think they trying to make fun of the young boy, because the know how he act when the teacher try to hit him , it look like the done that before filming that clip,from the girls siting around the table it may be somewhere in Jordan valley.

  11. i work at jabal nathif, we face issues like this daily… one person being held accountable for this particular event is not doing anyone justice,. its unfair to all the others who were unfortunate not to be filmed while being terrorized

  12. While it is important to find out about this video and hold those two teachers accountable, it is also imperative to fix this schooling system.

    let this ignite a campaign to fix our public education system. What about the 1000’s of incidents that will never make it to the web?

    There are major issues here;

    1- What kind of qualifications do teachers have? Let’s dig into their training and see if they need more child psychology or classroom behaviour management as commenter #11 mentioned.

    2- There should be monitoring in school classes (as you mentioned) and before we shut that down, let’s look into it do our homework and see how much would it cost to have a camera monitoring system for each class? once we have a figure let’s budget it and see if we can get funding fro NGO or Private sector.

    3- Let’s look into Teacher’s wages and benefits? I personally think teachers should be highly paid and should be also highly liable, teachers play an important role and it should be well rewarded.

    4- There should be newer tougher regulations against child abuse (mental,verbal,physical,sexual,emotional)

    5- There should be a tougher government department that protects children and monitor cases nationwide, in the US if you leave your kids in the car alone you could be taken to jail.

    6- New campaigns should emerge such as (No child left alone) and so on.

    7- Child labour, all children should go to school, no dropping out, parents should be punished if they send their kids to work instead.

    Feel free to add any pointers.

    Peace,

    KE

  13. This is heart-breaking.

    As one commenter mentioned, it isn’t just public schools. After my son was slapped repeatedly by his 4th grade teacher, as well as humiliated in front of the class regularly as the lone representative of US foreign policy, I pulled him out mid year and home-schooled him.

    The teacher had the nerve to say that such a naughty boy must have a very bad home life, even though he had just received an award from his other teachers for being the best all around student in his grade. I told her I couldn’t have my son under the authority of an adult who lied and acted like a child herself.

    The administration did nothing but shrug their shoulders.

    They spoke of cameras too…but to monitor naughty students like my son who misbehave in class.

  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmwb_hPQ0IY

    I wish MODERN teachers are able to reflect in this old song .. just to compare between this teacher who is hugging her students and supporting them & the teacher who is enjoying abusing the student in GRADE 1.
    The real role of the teacher is to support kids… to be near them when everyone is going far away from them… sooner or later students will learn math, science, history…. etc but they won’t ever never learn to care and share after being abused. Even if the student is not willing or ready to learn math and science, we have to admit the differences between individuals that is GOD issue and no one else..
    Poor kids ….You are lost between tough teachers who abusing you and carless mothers who are ignoring you… what a great future is waiting them!!!!

  15. Let’s be honest, education consumes a bulk of the government budget. The soutions suggested make sense, but costly. Let’s try a different approach and consider best practices in the world. I think it wll not lead us to follow the US education system cause it’s disaster in pubic schools there. It could lead us to consider privatize, or sem-privatize the education system in Jordan.

  16. 2 points here:

    1- more info about the video is needed. a similar case happened in Syria earlier this year. turned out it happened in 2008 and teacher was punished. what the teacher did is unethical & inexcusable. i hope this video made it to MOE before us..

    2- our teachers in general are good & care about their students. they deserve better environments to work in. they need to be held accountable for all their actions. this video won’t be an excuse to be used against teachers and their demand to have a union that will protect their rights and hold them liable for their actions.

  17. This is modern-day Jordan? Not some Dickens story?

    Thank you for bringing this to light here on The Black Iris. While this is an extreme case, and I pray it is not this harsh for large numbers of students, I think that negative reenforcement runs rampant in the Jordanian school systems. The point brought up by Khaled Alahmed is so valid. Even in the private schools here, the teachers make so little in comparison with the role they play in our society. For a county that prides themselves on its education, the teachers must consider their position as valuable, and uphold themselves in a manner that can inspire children to learn.

    While I think rote learning plays an important part in educating Jordanian youth, I also think some other methods of teaching should be used to get that right brain working as well.

    I showed this video to my children and luckily they were able to tell me that they have not had this experience themselves. We expect our children to behave and try their hardest and would want the teacher to be able to command her presence in the classroom, but without building walls of fear that will shut down any opportunity for that spark, that desire to learn, that propels them into being scholars.

    Bravo to the readers who forwarded this to people who may be of help. I am hopeful that Queen Rania will investigate the matter and provide the teachers with the resources that will assist them in being the kind of teacher that inspires as well as instructs.

  18. بالأمس قال لي أحد الأشخاص بأنّ هذا الفيديو قديم وكان متداولا على أجهزة الهاتف المحمول

  19. @nadinetoukan @raghdabutros @shusmo I agree with khaled’s first point. There has to be child psychology edu for all teachers, regardless of their qualifs. Uni degrees r not enough to make 1 compassionate wth children’s feelings. I’m awed that this is caught done by a female teacher. Women R known to be nicer to little children.

    The idea of having cameras inside classrooms is way too dreamy for Jordanian public schools..consider please that they don’t have any heat radiators and are poorly equipped. Besides, the last thing the body of educators would agree to, or let be implemented, is a system that monitors what they say or do. I don’t see that happening even if the country could afford it.

    On a side note, so many parents I know need child psychology education themselves. Since we’re dreaming of a perfect world for a child, I want one were a person should get a certificate of parenthood eligibility before allowing them to have children. The idea of the camera holder being the mother tears my heart. Very similar to various scenes I witnessed personally where a child would be abused in the presence of the parent by way of teaching her, and when she seeks refuge for security with parent (as her birth instinct directs hes) she would be pushed back to endure more hurt and punishment. Shakes a child’s soul forever, I think.

  20. ill say the same thing i said when i first saw this ..
    theyre clearly just messing with him .. though im not sure if that makes it better or worse ..

  21. I don’t feel that any good outcome will come from this.
    Remember the video of the baby with congenital ichthyosis who was being handled, suffered enormous pain and was made fun of by two nurses in the NICU in the last hours of her life.
    Bloggers blogged about it, and then they retracted saying that this happened in KSA which was not true, the dialect of the nurses was a sure proof that it happened in Jordan and the mere fact that KSA did not allow cellphones with cameras when that happened.
    But hey! covering up is something Jordan is getting a knack for, so I’ll be waiting for the official response of the government claiming that this video was taken in some “maybe Syrian” school, or how about an UNRWA school??

  22. I find it very funny, yet ironically sad, how detached some Jordanians are from the reality of Jordan. While everyone here may think Jordan is Switzerland, it is not. This is Jordan ladies and gentlemen, and it has been like that for the past 100 years. I don’t understand where this rosy ideal that Jordan has the best education system in the world came from. Teachers get paid less than 300 dollars a month, schools are never maintained, child psychology training is a non-existent thing in Jordan (@Teacher), etc.. Actually, as a matter of fact, there is no training what so ever when it comes to dealing with students. I don’t understand how the queen is so appalled by this, it’s merely the default situation in most Jordanian schools. And when I say Jordanian schools I don’t mean the 10,000 dollars a year private schools in western Amman, I mean the schools where kids have no heaters (most of the time, no proper clothing either).

  23. Finding more information about where the video came from is important in order to hold the teacher accountable, but not knowing the source does not negate the validity or reliability of the abuse.

    This is not about educational reform, this is about our soul. It talks volumes about the definition of power that runs through our veins and its synonymity with sadism. The teacher wasn’t just being abusive, she was deriving pleasure from the student’s pain.

    I am not one to believe in biological “excuses” for behaviour. This teacher, this sadistic exercise of power, is not a one off. How will this young child exercise authority in the future when entrusted with the power to do so? What does this tell us about the teacher’s experience of power as a child, and perhaps even now?

    Authoritarianism is not a political issue, and abuse is not a social issue. This teacher is not the problem, she is but a representation of it. A painful, deeply disturbing representation. But the real issue is our definition, and exercise, of power.

  24. This is nothing, I’m serious it’s nothing compared to what actually happens in public and UNRWA schools. Private schools have some physical abuse but not as bad as other ones. A teacher murdered a student last year in Jordan. Many other students get fiercely beaten up, chained, and kicked in their backs and stomaches, and many of them bleed from the beating.

  25. this is not the first time i see a teacher doing that, there is another youtube video about a syrian -again female- doing the same thing.

    i demand statistics for teachers doing that, if the majority are female, then we’re having a big social problem, regardless, teachers should be mentally examined (knowledge and psychic wise) to assure their healthiness, they are suppose to be the “generations generator”

    i am not being sexist here, as i think i understand why such a teacher would do such thing out of her house.

  26. Being a former teacher,I ask you all to relisten carefully at 3:54 from the video timing.You can hear the poor kid begging a ” Miss Dalal ” present along with this abusing teacher.Interested people at the ministry can check even ALL the teachers carrying this name and can therefore know her.Besides,you have her profile picture in this appaling video,along with pictures of a few children sitting around a table.Please do your best or else,how can poor kids like this boy love school,Math,etc?!

  27. That what is called crocodile tears by Queen Rania , If she is reading this blog, I would like to ask her one question , where is your outrage and disgust of the non ending torture in the Jordanian intelligence security dungeons >>>?????

  28. Sadly this phenomenon is not restricted to public schools. I went to a private rahbat school growing up and although I was never abused myself, it was not unusual for teachers to verbally abuse and even traumatize students because they did not know the answer to a certain question. I’m curious to know what possessed whoever filmed this to put it on youtube to begin with? No wonder some of those kids end up selling gum by traffic lights…

  29. 1) she doesnt beat him up or anything, we recently had a teacher take out the eye of a student…2) somehow looks like the clip is heavily acted…

  30. Do we know anything about the camera man? The little boy is clearly reaching out to some in-class observer. Was this the person who posted the video? Was it a hidden camera or did this teacher know she was being monitored? I agree we need to learn more: who is filming, where this classroom is, what year is this from, etc.

    Clearly the camera man is not reaching out to help this little boy; he instead observes and films, apparently for the purpose of properly illustrating a problematic trend in Jordan instead of trying to do something for one individual. Yet without the necessary background info this video, as evidence, is just too incomplete.

    Londoner, where did a student lose his eye? Are you suggesting that undermines the importance of this clip? I agree the clip is overall suspicious, perhaps staged, but why do you think this would be?

  31. The kid wasn’t acting but looks like the teacher was in it for fun. Thus the filming of the whole incident. They may have thought the child’s begging was funny and wanted to threaten him to see it, which is VERY WRONG.

    As you can see, she tells him to write a “4” which he does, then she says “IS THAT A 9” “THAT’S NOT A 9” , and so on. The point was to scare the child and let him cry and beg them while filming. They thought it was “funny” but were very wrong. Someone will recognize them for sure.

    To “The free Jordanian”, it is acting but the child was as real as it gets so it’s basically the same situation.

    Rewatch the video. When the kid gets near to beg the teacher closely, she tells him “ok ok go away and write it right” so he could write again and the scary shouting and threatening repeats. He starts begging and it goes on in film.

    The point is to film him begging so they could laugh. The child looks at the camera man like he’s into the incidence and he’s approving it. Thus, he begs him as well. The whole thing is coordinated to make them enjoy that odd begging for this child. Hopefully, they will have plenty of time to remember the incidence in jail!

  32. قرأت الكثير من التعليقات على صفحات عمان نت تعلق على الفيديو ومن إحدى التعليقات التي لفتت نظري هو قول المعلق بما معناه :” من الواضح بأن المعلمتان تتسلـــيان والضحك مسموع بالفيديو فعلى ما يبدو والمرجح بأن الطالب هذا معروف عنه بأنه يبدأ بالبكاء عندما يهدد بالعصى وبأن المعلمة الأولى أحضرت زميلتها لتصويره والضحك من موقفه !!!!!! “
    هذا لا يعتبر تبرير أبداً بل بالعكس فلو افترضنا بأن هذا الكلام صحيح فالعقاب يجب أن يكون أشد لأنه منذ متى كان اللعب على مشاعر الأطفال وترهيبهم والضحك تسلية وخاصة بان الطفل لم يعتبرها كذلك ، يجب أن لا نبرر للمعلمتين هذا التصرف وننسى بأن هناك طفل بالمنتصف أرهب وبكى وتعقد نفسياً وهذا ما يهم

  33. I agree with the commenter who said this is nothing.

    I have four children, three of whom are in government schools.

    Daily, they come home to tell me about the abuse that takes place in their classrooms…

    Teachers shoving students across the room, slapping them on the face or pulling their ears very hard. Screaming, cursing, etc. Really bad stuff. My daughter was once beaten because she threw up and made a mess on the floor that had to be cleaned up. That was in a private school when she was about 4 or 5 years old.

    If you go to the schools to complain, the administrators may act sympathetic or “shocked” that such a thing could happen but in fact many of them also beat the students and are fully aware that most teachers hit their students.

    My sil’s son, for example, was recently hit in the eye by his teacher. He is in 5th grade. About three teachers from the school took him to the hospital, paid for the hospital bills, checked on him, etc. as a way of “apologizing” which is another way of asking/pressuring the parents not to make a formal complaint.

    Sorry to say that this is the norm in Jordanian schools. As parents, we always try to make ourselves known at the start of the school year so that the teachers know that we don’t accept our children to be beaten and that we will complain if necessary. This seems to help protect our children…but it does not help the other students in the class.

    I have often wondered what I could do on a personal level to stimulate more awareness about this issue.

    I have discussed the issue with teachers I know and many simply feel that beating is a normal form of discipline and that it is needed to control a classroom. They are ignorant of the many other methods in use around the world. I grew up in the U.S. and never in my whole life saw a teacher hit a student yet students were generally polite and engaged in the learning process.

    These teachers do not know that learning is supposed to fun, and most of all that teaching is an Amana.

    If the problem is to be solved, it has to start in the university setting when these future teachers are still young. As far as I know, in Jordan, one only need study math to be a math teacher, English to be an English teacher, Arabic to be an Arabic teacher, etc. but these future teachers do not generally study education or the art of teaching. These future teachers need lots of practical experience with students to understand how to deal with children properly.

    It is a very big problem that goes way beyond what is presented on this video. It is a whole mentality that needs to be addressed. And I will also add that many parents feel it is okay for their children to be beaten.

  34. قال والد الطفل (احمد) رضوان العقيل من سكان منطقة سيل حسبان في لواء ناعور ان حادثة التعنيف التي تعرض لها ابنه على يد معلمته وقعت في الثاني عشر من الشهر الحالي.

    وبين العقيل بانه فوجئ بوجود الشريط المسجل لحادثة تعرض ابنه الى الضرب والاهانة على موقع الـ”يوتيوب” والذي اذهله مظهر ابنه وتعرضه للاهانة من قبل معلمته ومحاولة استجدائه لزميلتها التي قامت بتصوير الفيلم.

    وبحسب افادة الطفل احمد الذي قال: ان معلمته أمرته بالخروج إلى اللوح للكتابة.. وقالت له “اكتب .4. اكتب .9. اكتب 7” ØŒ وقال انها جاءت بالعصا.. فيما قام هو بطلب الاستغاثة من معلمة زميلة لها كانت تقف بجانبها وقامت بتصوير الفيلم ØŒ وقال “انني طلبت منها.. الله يستر عليك والله يرزقك ترحميني” لكنها لم تسمع لندائه واستغاثته.

    وقال والد الطفل انه تم استدعاؤه امس الى مديرية تربية عمان الخامسة هو وطفله حيث قابل مدير التربية المهندس هايل الطرمان وعرض عليه الشريط قائلا “هل هذه صورة ابنك فقال نعم، وذلك “بحضور نائب رئيس الوزراء وزير التربية والتعليم الدكتور خالد الكركي، ثم طلب منه مغادرة الغرفة الى حين استكمال الاستجواب مع ابنه.. وقال انه لا يعرف تفاصيل ما جرى في سؤال ابنه حيث استغرق الاستجواب مع ابنه اكثر من الساعة والنصف.

    وقال العقيل انه ينتظر إجراءات التحقيق من قبل لجنة التربية والتعليم.
    http://factjo.com/fullNews.aspx?id=23562

  35. I am glad that they caught the teacher. She should get the right punishment.

    Putting that aside, the way the kid was begging her highlights a big concern about the sexist side in our society. “Allah yustor 3alaiki” I find this “da3weh” (call God to bring a good thing for another person) pretty degrading for a woman. It means “May God provide you with shelter” and here in the contest of our society the shelter is a man. It also carries an honor connotations, where “el sater” also means to have her honor intact and preserved!

    Coming out of a young kid in this age is very alarming to the way our kids are brought up to perceive women and honor. Such mentality coupled with violence and abuse is just the right environment for more and more honor crimes.

    It is as important to address the language we teach our kids as much as important to protect them from physical and emotional abuses.

  36. I am an American living in Jordan for the past 10 years. I have four children three of them in school. One of my children was physically abused by teachers in two schools, one in Irbid and another in Amman. My other son who was in kindergarten was molested by an older girl in the seventh grade on the school bus. The school was notified by us and the principle of the school did nothing. Jordan should have stronger laws in place for these incidents! We shouldn’t feel guilty for sending our children to school for fear of them being abused physically or mentally.

  37. After watching this I had goosebumps!! I am honestly shocked… The thing is that kids here grow in such a violent surrounding that not only supresses them physically but emotionally and psychologically leading to other problems and complications in our society’s future generations!
    Another point is that even though there are efforts to improve education in Jordan, many schools lack any kind of guidance for the teachers and supervision! There should be more stress on what is going on in all schools especially those in rural areas and with poor resources!

  38. I feel so sad looking at the young boy. How can u one do this for fun?? And they are female teachers, women who are naturally blessed with motherly instincts! My heart is just broken to see the video, even when he might not be hurt physically, but I sure he’s traumatized and ashamed. We all know what the adults deserve from this! They should be humiliated by placing their pictures on the national news as a deterrent for other culprits a well.

Your Two Piasters: