A couple of days ago, a Facebook post containing a screen record of a forwarded WhatsApp voice note was posted by the Lebanese Lawyer Nadine Hassoun on her personal page.
The shared voice note is by Ekbal Jomaa, director of Small Hand nursery school located in Habbouch, southern Lebanon.
Lawyer Nadine Hassoun told 961News that the voice note came after one of the nursery teachers, Z.Ch., reached out to a parent, identified as S.J., telling her that “at the nursery, we would tie hyperactive kids to their chairs because they won’t stop shouting and moving.”
When the mother tried to confront the administration of the nursery, the director Ekbal Jomaa reportedly denied the whole story and took her “connections” as a shield, according to the lawyer Hassoun.
Many other parents have reached out to S.J and her lawyer saying that they have faced the same acts against their children.
Subsequently, social workers in Nabatieh gave their testimonials to the court and filed a lawsuit against the nursery.
During the initial investigations that took place on July 21st in the judicial police station in Nabatiyeh, the teacher Z.Ch. did not deny what she said earlier to the mother about abusing children including her daughter.
However, the nursery’s director Ekbal Joma, kept denying the story, as the mother’s lawyer told 961News in a call.
Correspondingly, Ekbal Jomaa shared during a call with 961News that there are two teachers involved in this case: Z.Ch. who got in contact with the mother, and the new teacher L.J. who is allegedly abusing the kids.
According to Jomaa, the teacher Z.Ch. is upset because the new teacher L.J gets paid more than her, and had an argument with the director about it. The higher wage, according to the director, is due to L.J.’s higher level of education.
The director Jomaa explained this issue as the reason behind Z.Ch. contacting the mother to allegedly spread “the fake story about tying children to their chairs.”
In a statement released afterward, the nursery issued: “For us, the rights of the child are sacred and non-negotiable.”
They insisted that they work in accordance with the recommendations and directives of the concerned authorities in the Ministry of Health.
They said wondering how the mother waited 3 weeks to object and complain, adding, “We have the right to ask how a mother can be patient for [even] one hour” in such alleged harm to her child.
Commenting on the shared voice note of the director, the nursery said that this came in the context of responding to recordings received “threatening the nursery administration and teachers” and that director Jomaa said that “she was clearly joking and that was obvious from her tone of voice.”
“The mother came to the nursery and we treated her with respect,” which, according to them confirmed that they “have no intention of luring or assaulting her, as it has been promoted.”
According to lawyer Nadine Hassoun, the case now is under the supervision of the Attorney Appeals general in Nabatiyeh, Judge Ramzi Farhat.
Article prepared in collaboration with 961 Staff Writer Kassem Shoukini.