Egypt teacher sentenced for cutting pupils' hair
CAIRO, Egypt- (UPDATED) A female Egyptian schoolteacher who cut two of her pupils' hair as punishment for not wearing the Islamic headscarf was given a six-month suspended prison sentence on Tuesday, a judicial source said.
She was tried after the government's national council for childhood and motherhood requested an inquiry into the incident. The public prosecutor accused her of "treating children harshly."
A court in the southern city of Luxor handed down the ruling on the teacher, who wears the version of the Islamic veil that only leaves the eyes exposed.
The woman told a local newspaper she had not imagined that cutting "two centimetres (one inch) of hair" to be a serious crime.
"I was joking with (the two girls) when one pupil took out a pair of scissors and said I should go through with my threat. I did it to preserve my authority," she added, saying she had worn the veil for five years.
The education minister ordered that she forfeit one month's salary.
The majority of Egyptian Muslim women wear the headscarf, but the full face veil has also gained popularity for some years.
Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, a former Muslim Brotherhood stalwart, came to power in June, provoking fear among some Egyptians of the increased influence of fundamentalist Islamic groups and ideology. -Agence France-Presse