A female primary school teacher smashed a six-year-old boy over the head with a ruler so hard it snapped in half for punishment for getting a question wrong, a court heard.
Rina Khan, 41, is accused of losing her temper and lashing out at the defenceless child in class and calling him a “muppet”.
A court heard a teaching assistant watched in horror as part of the ruler “flew across the room” after the attack on March 20 this year which left the boy “sad and scared”.
Khan denies a charge of child cruelty and common assault.
Prosecutor Peter Arnold told Birmingham Crown Court that Khan was teaching maths to Year Two pupils, alongside an experienced classroom assistant when she flipped.
He said: “The boy was sitting at a desk. To put it neutrally, and there may be an issue as to what caused all of this, she was having problems with him.
“Khan was standing behind the youngster when he got a question wrong.
“The defendant was upset about that and the long and short of it is that she had a plastic ruler in her hand and she hit the boy on the top of his head and the ruler broke.
“It is for that short action you are brought here to court. What she did was unlawful.”
When asked about the incident, the boy said it had hurt and that he felt “sad and scared” following the episode.
Mr Arnold said the teaching assistant, who was present at the time, had been unsure what to do because a new headmistress had recently been appointed at the school.
But after a couple of days she told a caretaker who in turn told the headmistress.
Mr Arnold said the account put forward by Khan was that she had “tapped” the boy on the head with the ruler and the ruler had snapped, but not as a result of any force used by her.
Giving evidence, the teaching assistant said she had heard Khan, from Smethwick, West Mids., shouting in the classroom and the shouting had become louder.
In a statement she said: “I looked up again and a piece of ruler flew across the room.”
She said the boy had put his hand on his head after being hit by the ruler, and she then had to put a cold compress on his head.
The assistant claimed that after the incident Khan admitted to her that she had not meant to hit the victim so hard.
The trial continues.