BEIRUT — A fast developing furor over a teacher allegedly harassing his female students at the George Sarraf public high school in Tripoli led to students sitting in front of the school principal’s office demanding an investigation into what they describe as the school’s disregard of the accusations, the state-run National News Agency reported.
Here’s what we know:
• On Sunday night, a female student at the George Sarraf public school posted on her Facebook page screenshots of conversations reportedly with the teacher in which he asks her to answer a video phone call and come over. Her post pushed many other students to share similar messages they say they received from the same teacher.
• Last year, Parliament voted to enact a law criminalizing sexual harassment and amended existing domestic violence legislation. For anyone convicted of sexual harassment, the new law imposes a penalty of one to 12 months in prison and/or a fine ranging from three to 10 times the official minimum wage of LL675,000, with higher penalties stipulated when the crime is committed against a minor or a person with special needs, or in a workplace setting.
• In September, more than 20 Lebanese women turned to social media to accuse Jaafar al-Attar, a well-known local activist, journalist and filmmaker, of sexual harassment case was subsequently sent to the criminal court. Activists are closely watching this case, since it is the first to be prosecuted under Lebanon's new sexual harassment statute, which went into effect earlier this year.