News |

Helsinki dismisses teacher for using physical force

The Helsinki Department of Education has dismissed a teacher at the Alppila middle school over an incident in which the teacher forcibly removed a pupil from the school's cafeteria who was causing a disturbance. The incident has aroused a debate about the right of teachers to use physical force.

Opiskelijat tekevät muistiinpanoja.
Image: Toni Pitkänen / Yle

The teacher, who has been employed at the school on an hourly contract since last October, forced the pupil out of the cafeteria by pushing him.

According to the Department of Education, the action was inappropriate and indefensible. In a release on the issue, the Department said that the teacher endangered the pupil's right to a safe learning environment.

"Not a scratch"

The teacher, Antti Korhonen, argues that he was acting in accordance with the letter of the law on basic education when he removed the pupil from the cafeteria.

He told Yle that he objects to the Board of Education calling his action inappropriate.

"It is a complete lie. The pupil was not injured, not a scratch," said Korhonen.

According to Korhonen, the pupil's misbehaviour could have incited the other pupils. He added that he has acted in a similar manner by removing a pupil from class who was causing a disturbance.

The incident immediately aroused a debate about the right of teachers to use physical force.

The teachers' trade union OAJ has demanded legislation aimed at promoting a peaceful learning environment in the schools. New legislation was scheduled to come into force next autumn, but is likely to be delayed early 2014.

Latest in: News



Defense Minister Haglund: Credible defense forces cannot be built alone

Carl Haglund.

At present, small states' defense budgets are ever increasing yet, despite this, stocks of military equipment are neither sufficient nor consist of what they should. The recent broadening of the NATO member state agreement and peacetime partnership arrangements with other nations is a clear example of the trend towards cooperation, according to Finnish Defense Minister Carl Haglund, and Finland shouldn't baulk at jumping on the international cooperation bandwagon.


Final deadline looms for mega car showroom project

The ambitious car showroom project envisioned by a Finnish businessman faces its last major hurdle as the final deadline for paying for the proposed site approaches. City leaders in Hämeenlinna have given businessman Markku Ritaluoma until the end of Tuesday to pay the 8.4 million euros due for the purchase of the building site. Ritaluoma was relying on a windfall investment of 35 million euros from the widow of a former Zambian president to help bankroll the project.

Our picks