Coimbra Court approves slap

A court in Coimbra considers that a slap on a youngster’s backside by an employed person in charge of their care is not a good reason to sack them for violent treatment.

The case was prompted when an employee of the St. Silvestre asylum, the Portuguese Association of Parents and Friends of Mentally Impaired Citizens of Coimbra (APPACDM), had dealt a slap on the buttock of a 14-year-old boy and pinched another’s nose to force him to eat yoghurt. But the judge decided these actions do not constitute in any way logical reasons for dismissal.

The judge therefore ordered the institution, which takes cares of citizens with mental disabilities, to pay €6,700 in compensation to the employee. The judge said he believes that a slap on the buttock of a misbehaving child can be educational.

But Helena Albuquerque, the President of APPACDM, said that she does not approve of any kind of violence towards these youngsters under any terms. “That is the kind of behaviour that we do not tolerate in any way,” she added.