Italian hit squad

GIVE some kid detention and he says he'll set his dad on you - it happens to all teachers. Some Dads (or Mums) turn up. Things can turn nasty. But be thankful: this is not Italy.

A Naples teacher was viciously beaten by two thugs with metal bars, for offending the 14-year-old son of a local Camorra boss.

The teacher told off a girl in his technical drawing class for not paying attention. Her cousin - and classmate - told him to leave her alone and when he too felt the teacher's ire, simply made a brief call on his mobile phone.

Punishment came an hour later. The teacher had head and internal injuries and there was a trail of blood on two school floors.

It brought education minister Luigi Berlinguer to the school and attracted Italian television. But a nervous-looking head told reporters he didn't know who the boy was, while in the best Mafia tradition, nobody can remember what the attackers looked like.

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