Irish teacher recovering after stabbing in Spanish school

Man in stable condition after he was reportedly stabbed by his 13-year-old student

An Irish teacher in his 40s is recovering after he was stabbed by one of his students at a secondary school in Murcia in southeastern Spain.

The teacher is understood to be an Irish national who has lived in Murcia for a decade. He has been named by local media simply as Paul.

He was hospitalised on Wednesday following the attack but has since been discharged and is reportedly in a stable condition.

The man was stabbed by a 13-year-old student in the middle of his classroom during a mathematics class at the Colegio Monteagudo bilingual boys' school on Wednesday morning, according to local Spanish reports.


The young student reportedly took a knife out of his bag during the class, approached the teacher, who was writing on the whiteboard, and stabbed him three times from behind. The teacher, who had a “very good” relationship with the student, according to the school, was able to overpower and hold down the teenage boy, according to the La Verdad de Murcia online news service.

The teacher was rushed to hospital by ambulance and the student was taken into custody by the national police unit in charge of underage offenders while the public prosecutor’s office made a decision on the situation.

However, the 13-year-old cannot be formally arrested or held criminally responsible for his actions as Spanish law exempts children who are younger than 14 from criminal responsibility.

A colleague at the school described the Irish teacher, who teaches English and technology, as a professional and well-mannered member of staff who has settled well into life in Murcia where he lives with his Spanish wife and children.

The school, which is connected to the Opus Dei branch of the Catholic Church, reported the boy had never given any indications he was capable of attacking any member of staff.

He is a “friendly and polite boy who gets good marks in school and has never misbehaved before”, the director of the school was reported as saying in La Verdad de Murcia.

The boy was reportedly disorientated and confused following the incident and appeared not to remember what had happened, he said.

The school director released a statement on Wednesday saying the school was in contact with the department of education and the boy’s family “to support them at this time” and said the school would continue to work daily to ensure its students “grow up in a school atmosphere where respect and harmony amongst everyone is valued”, the national Spanish newspaper El País reported.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast