Manama: Saudis have branded a one-month sentence handed down on teacher who sexually harassed a student as “too lenient” and called for stricter measures.

A court in the Eastern Province city of Dammam sentenced the high school teacher to 30 days in jail and 50 lashes for handing a male student a slip of paper on which he had written a flirty message and included his mobile number, local news site Sabq reported on Monday.

The case was reported to school authorities and subsequently to the court where the teacher was also told that he would lose his basic salary for three months, as well as being transferred to an administrative job that does not deal directly with students.

However, the sentence trigged angry reactions from the social media community, with many saying that teachers — as crucial role models for students — should always abide by the highest ethical standards.

“He should be given at least 20 years in jail in solitary confinement for abusing his classroom authority,” Abdul Aziz posted on Sabq website. “He should not be allowed to see anything, including the sun for his horrible intentions.”

Al Shareef, another blogger, said he was upset by the court’s decision.

“I do deplore the sentences because they are too lenient. He should been given [a] tougher term so that his case serves as a deterrent for those with weak souls who abuse young students and incite them to debauchery,” he said.

Abu Abdul Nasser feels the teacher should be severely punished for failing to live up to the “nobility” of his profession.

“He is supposed to educate young hearts and minds and instill in them a sense of positive attitudes and feelings,” he posted.

“No parent will ever trust this so-called teacher with their sons because he will drag them into debauchery and depravation. He has no place whatsoever in the education system and should be kicked out,” he said.