If you see a pupil dozing off midway through a lesson, think twice about how you wake the poor dear. You could end up being sued.
Such was the case at Danbury High, a school in the litigation-friendly US. A lawyer representing 15-year-old Vinicios Robacher has notified school officials in the Connecticut town that he intends to take legal action for injuries sustained by his young client when he was woken by his teacher.
The maths teacher had noticed the dozing student and abruptly slammed the palm of her hand on his desk. Vinicios' lawyer, Alan Barry, said the teenager had suffered "severe injuries to his left eardrum. Many of us have fallen asleep in class and had the teacher wake us up. But what happened here was more in the nature of an assault and battery," he said. "My client is an extraordinarily bright young man. He's a computer wizard who works late into the night, and that's probably why he fell asleep."
How far the case will go is unclear. A preliminary notice has been sent to the local authority, but a proper lawsuit has not been filed.
We sympathise with Catherine Richard, the school's principal. As she told Connecticut's News-Times: "You can't make this stuff up."