• Germany edition
 
Teacher wins snowball fight injury legal battle
Photo: DPA

Teacher wins snowball fight injury legal battle

Published: 07 Jan 2013 15:58 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Jan 2013 15:58 GMT+01:00

The teacher, who missed a month in the classroom due to an eye injury sustained from a snowball lobbed by a student, is entitled to standard compensation for work accidents, the administrative court in the southwestern city of Freiburg said in a summary of the ruling made in December.

This applies even if snowball fights are officially banned by the school, the judges added.

As the teacher entered the courtyard, a group of about 15 pupils began pelting him with snowballs.

He initially tried to defend himself by guarding his face with a folder, telling the pupils it was unfair to gang up on him and knocking the snowballs from their hands. But he eventually joined in.

The school board had argued that the teacher had thus abandoned the hierarchical relationship with his pupils and acted as an "equal" when he started hurling his own snowballs back at them, the court said.

The plaintiff, who was not identified by name, was hit directly in the eye in the melee and required an operation that kept him from work for a month.

However the judges found that the teacher "because of his good relationship with the students, saw their snowball assault not as mean-spirited but as an expression of fun and a challenge."

He argued that "if he had stuck to a demand for them to stop and walked away, he would have made a fool of himself as a teacher".

The court added that it thus saw his wound as a work injury but noted that the interpretation could not be applied to clearly "excessive" behaviour such as a fist fight after a company holiday party or drunken driving on the job.

The school board may still appeal.

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

00:56 January 9, 2013 by ron1amr
It seems better for a healthy relation with students and the students will respect the Teacher more in their participation. It seems more like a sports injury while on the school grounds so definitely a work related injury. Maybe safety glasses may need to be administered in these occasions ppe ( personal protective equipment)
Today's headlines
Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis
Taxis are a powerful trade lobby in Germany. Photo: DPA

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis

The Frankfurt regional court has imposed a temporary nationwide ban on chauffeur car service Uber, saying that it must pay a €250,000 fine if passengers continue to book rides through its app. READ  

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa
The facade of the Bad Reichenhall Royal Spa Hotel.

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa

The Bavarian finance ministry has demanded a report from the company running a publicly-owned spa in the town of Bad Reichenhall after they rented the property out for a fetish party. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Town in shock as tax worker shot dead
DPA

Town in shock as tax worker shot dead

A tax office worker in the Schleswig-Holstein town of Rendsburg died in hospital after being shot on Monday morning. READ  

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg
Berlin and Hamburg mayors Klaus Wowereit and Olaf Scholz on Monday. Photos: DPA

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg

Germany's capital and its gateway to the North Sea each released details of their Olympic bids on Monday as the race for the 2024 or 2028 summer games nominations picks up momentum. READ  

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria
Photo: DPA

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria

Six people were infected with a bacteria from the Caribbean which has made itself at home in the popular German vacation destination. One of them is now in a coma. READ  

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees
DPA

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees

UNHCR Commissioner Antonio Guterres is lauding Germany's role in accommodating the influx of refugees in Europe, while pointing at the imbalance of effort within the EU. The federal government has pledged to do more. READ  

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome
Photo: DPA

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome

Starting on Monday, vacuum cleaners drawing more than 1600 watts can no longer be brought into Germany. The ban is part of a an EU-wide environmental protection measure. READ  

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote
CDU leader Stanislav Tillich with SPD Martig Dulig. Photo: DPA

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic (CDU) party is in search of a new partner after the expulsion of its former allies the Free Democrats (FDP) from the Saxon state parliament. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,416
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd