HD sues teachers for breast jokes

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Published 10 July 2024 at 10.58

Law & Right. A teacher was sentenced by the district court and the court of appeals for sexual harassment after joking about breasts. But now he is acquitted by the Supreme Court.

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During a lesson, a 15-year-old student tried a weightlifting belt that a classmate had brought by fastening that on the outside of his shirt.

When the teacher saw this, he said: “Oh, what big breasts you got now.”

The district court and the court of appeals sentenced the teacher for sexual harassment to daily fines. However, the Supreme Court makes a different assessment and acquits the teacher.

For someone in a case such as the one in question to be sentenced for sexual harassment, the act must have had a clear sexual orientation or character. According to HD, the teacher's comment appears to be a spontaneous reaction to what happened and did not include any other sexual connection than that it specifically referred to the student's breasts. According to the court, the statement was inappropriate and inappropriate, but was not considered to have such a clear sexual orientation or character that it falls within the criminal area.

– The crime of sexual harassment is designed so that not every statement with a sexual connection that is inappropriate or reprehensible is subject to criminal liability. In the legal system, there are rules other than penal provisions to prevent individuals from being exposed to inappropriate and reprehensible actions. For example, the School Act and the Discrimination Act contain rules aimed at preventing students from being exposed to various forms of abusive treatment, says Jonas Malmberg, one of the judges in the case, in a statement.