9 Year Old Beaten to Death for 'Not Doing Homework'

French prosecutor Edwige Roux-Morizot gives a press conference at the Mulhouse courthouse on November 22, 2018, regarding the case of a 9-year-old boy found dead at his home on September 17, 2018. SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images

A 9-year-old has been beaten to death in France for refusing to do his homework, with four members of the same family arrested over suspicion of involvement.

Local police sources said the boy was hit with a broom handle when he refused to complete his school work, according to the BBC.

The incident occurred in the eastern city of Mulhouse on September 17, AFP explained. Those present reportedly called an ambulance, but the paramedics were unable to save the boy.

The exact circumstances surrounding the boy's death are as yet unclear, but the victim's elder brother, sister and stepsister were all present at the time of the incident and have been arrested. The boy's mother was not present, but she too has been arrested.

An autopsy discovered that the boy had suffered a cardiac arrest during the beating, but doctors noted it was the blunt force trauma that was fatal. The examination also discovered bruises on the boy's body, particularly on his feet.

The boy's mother was away in Paris on a business trip when he died, but had reportedly actively encouraged the beating because he refused to complete his homework, Le Figaro reported.

The police decided to continue their investigation into the death after taking initial statements from the family members and analyzing the results of the post-mortem.

All four family members are being held in custody in Mulhouse and will appear in front of a local prosecutor before a judicial investigation begins, the BBC explained. Prosecutors now believe the 19-year-old brother is ultimately responsible for the killing but the investigating judge will attempt to establish a clearer course of events.

The incident comes as the French parliament considers a new ban of parents smacking their children. The proposal is made up of two parts—one to ensure children receive an education free of violence, and the other to ban parents from using "means of humiliation such as physical or verbal violence, corporal punishment and moral abuse."

The national legal authority head, Jacques Toubon, said earlier this week that all forms of violence against children should be banned, just as it is against any other member of society. According to the France Info radio station, Toubon said passing the new legislation would "raise public awareness of [the benefits of a] caring and positive education, as well as of the consequences of violence of all kinds on children, whether physical or psychological."