Father of student choked to death in Riyadh school fight forgives son’s killer

Schools in Riyadh and throughout Saudi Arabia have for years been running awareness campaigns aimed at preventing bullying and violence among students. (SPA)
Updated 12 September 2019
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Father of student choked to death in Riyadh school fight forgives son’s killer

  • Schools in Riyadh and throughout Saudi Arabia have for years been running awareness campaigns aimed at preventing bullying and violence among students

RIYADH: The father of a Saudi student who died after a fight with a classmate has said he forgives his son’s killer.
The parent of the sixth grader has urged authorities not to punish any managers or teachers from the Riyadh elementary school over the incident.
The show of forgiveness sparked a huge response on social media with posters offering condolences and messages of support.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the General Directorate of Education in Riyadh, the student died after being choked during a fight with another youngster on Monday morning.
Ali Al-Ghamdi, a spokesman for the Riyadh Education Department, said the incident was caught on surveillance cameras at the school, which is located on the outskirts of the capital.
Teachers tried to help the student and called for an ambulance, but the boy died on his way to hospital, Al-Ghamdi added.
Saudi news website Sabq reported that the dead student’s father had later pardoned his son’s attacker and appealed for school management and teachers not to face punishment over the matter.
On Twitter @teacher_rights said: “What the father of the student did is a lesson to be taught.” @Avav_1900 said: “A thousand lessons of ethics.” @thamralkhzay43 said: “The child should be punished severely so he doesn’t commit this violence again. He is 12 years old, which means he is aware that his action was wrong.”
Schools in Riyadh and throughout Saudi Arabia have for years been running awareness campaigns aimed at preventing bullying and violence among students.
Dr. Nadia Nusair, a family psychological counselor, said: “Bullying is a form of violence and abuse directed at a person or a group of people with the least physical or psychological strength. It is followed by intimidation and threats, and may be practiced in school, work or other places.”
“In the case in Riyadh, the student used direct bullying by beating and suffocating his classmate. In a questionnaire about who is most influential on the phenomenon of violence, the result was: 35 percent influence of parents and education, 27 percent school, and 38 percent the influence of social media and media in its different forms.”
Nusair said bullies had often been the victim of bullying themselves with some children being subjected to violence at home.
She stressed the importance of victims of bullying bringing it to the notice of others as early as possible.
Supervisor of a boy’s school in Riyadh, Ibrahim Al-Khbrani, told Arab News that following Monday’s tragedy students and staff had gathered to discuss the incident.


Mike Pompeo lands in Jeddah for talks with Saudi officials on Aramco attacks

Updated 14 min 7 sec ago

Mike Pompeo lands in Jeddah for talks with Saudi officials on Aramco attacks

  • Pompeo described the drone and cruise missile strikes on Saturday as an 'Iranian attack'
  • Pompeo was met at Jeddah airport by Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf. 

JEDDAH: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday described strikes on key Saudi oil installations as an “act of war” as he landed in Jeddah.

Pompeo described the drone and cruise missile strikes on Saturday as an “Iranian attack”.

He said it had not come from Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militants and that there was no evidence the attacks had been launched from Iraq.

Pompeo was met at Jeddah airport by Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf. 

Earlier on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had spoken with US President Donald Trump about the Aramco attack, and agreed that Iran must not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.