If a teacher spits at their principal, is it a legitimate act of critical expression? The courts in Italy have been giving this question weighty consideration.
A teacher, known only as Antonino R, argued at an appeals court in Palermo this month that he had been justified in spitting three times in the direction of his female principal. He claimed his action was an expression of his opinion about her "oppressive behaviour".
He also said his spit could not have reached her because the heated argument which led to the incidents had left his mouth dry.
However, the judges upheld a ruling that he had acted improperly. It was "irrelevant" whether or not the spit had reached the principal, they said, or whether his dry mouth made his action more problematic.
They also decided that spitting was not a legitimate form of critical expression. You have been warned.