Saudi Arabia: Armed students terrorize teachers in remote areas

Teachers in some remote areas claimed they are being threatened at gunpoint by students who receive low grades or fail altogether, Al-Hayat reported on Tuesday.

With arms easy to obtain in the Kingdom, many students have acquired weapons that they will not hesitate to point at their teachers.

“The remote areas were famous for its hospitality and ethical values but these benevolent traditions have now given way to violence against teachers, especially from students,” said one schoolteacher who did not want his name published.

The teacher said many students believe it is “manly” to humiliate teachers in front of others.

He said: “Their parents are encouraging them to do this because they have no respect for the process of education. Their tribes often help them to do this because they want to see their young boys being tough on others.”

The teacher said almost all students in remote areas are armed with knives and daggers, if not firearms. “We now pray fervently to be transferred to other more civilized and advanced areas,” he added.

He said teachers are particularly terrorized during examination periods and may be killed or injured by students who do not do well in the exam. He said: “We become scared every time the examinations are held. “We can easily lose our lives through no fault of ours.”

The teacher said even their own colleagues and administrators often advise them not to fail their students or reduce their grades to protect their own lives. He said many parents often come to the school carrying their arms to warn teachers against giving low grades to their sons.

He said female teachers are also facing the same situation. The teacher recalled that a pregnant woman teacher lost her child when a student pushed her down the stairs.

The teachers asked education authorities to spread awareness among students on the importance of respecting their teachers.