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MILAN (Reuters) - A Milan teacher cut a unruly 7-year-old pupil's tongue with scissors to silence him, police and school officials said on Tuesday.
The child, of North African origin, needed to go to hospital for five stitches to close the wound.
The boy's family has filed suit against the teacher, who has been suspended after last week's incident.
Police are trying to find out whether the injury was inflicted intentionally or was a joke gone wrong, a police source said.
"We are carrying out a full inquiry to find out what really happened," said Anna Maria Dominici, in charge of schools in the Lombardy region.
The teacher, a support tutor on a temporary contract, risks being fired from the elementary school.
"She is a young teacher but the episode is so serious that inexperience has nothing to do with it," Dominici added.