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School head on rape claim: 'boys will be boys'

Published: 14 Nov 2011 13:54 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Nov 2011 13:54 GMT+01:00

A high school in Täby in northern Stockholm has been reported to the Equality Ombudsman over allegations that the principal played down rape allegations as "stuff that boys do".

After having been encouraged by a classmate, a female student went to the principal of the high school to report that she had been raped by another male student in February and March 2011.

The student reported the school to the Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen), which has now forwarded the complaint to the Equality Ombudsmannen (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen - DO).

According to the complaint filed with the Schools Inspectorate, the student was told by the principal:

"You file a police report if you want, although this is not a prioritized case as no serious crime has been committed."

The principal then told the student, who was accompanied by another member of staff at the time:

"Guys do this kind of thing, you have to get used to it."

According to the report, when the girl's mother called the principal to discuss her comments, the principal told her that her daughter "should concentrate on her studies" and "to stop focusing on these trivialities".

The girl eventually stopped attending school as she felt she had not received support from the teachers or the principal despite having filed a police report alleging rape and attempted rape in March 2011.

The girl alleges that from that time until the break for the summer holidays, she was subjected to periodical harassment from fellow students and some individual teachers at the school.

The girl has now changed to another school in the county.

The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:37 November 14, 2011 by StockholmSam
Something doesn't add up here. There is no way in hell any principal AND witnessing teacher would play down rape allegations in this manner. I am guessing the infraction described to the principal was not a rape but something else. Must be more to the story. Otherwise, our society is in real trouble.
14:37 November 14, 2011 by me_i_sverige
What is happening in Sweden these days? Last time there was complaint about bullying in a school and administration not doing anything about it and this time a rape and it seems (reading this article) the school headmaster is very comfortable with that. what if that girl was his daughter?
14:51 November 14, 2011 by RobinHood
The same thing happened in Gothenburg earlier this year.

In that case, the head anounced to the newspapers that the two student rapists had been going through a very stressful time, what with the school moving between buildings and all that.
15:13 November 14, 2011 by Rishonim
@Stockholm Sam.. I am actually not surprised by the behavior of the principal. They tend to act this way. A relative 2 year old daughter was molested at her daycare and the head of the school told the parents they should let it drop in order to not cause any embarrassment to the accused and his family. Rape is not a serious crime in Sweden while speeding and nicking a few bad movies will put you in deep shait.
15:25 November 14, 2011 by Douglas Garner
Remember the discussion in the Local a few weeks back where it was stated that "rape" carries a broad range of descriptions in Sweden and does not necessarily involve "penetration" or could be by something other than a body part... spoon if I recall one publicised case.
15:40 November 14, 2011 by Svensksmith
The principal needs a new job. Something invlolving a pick-ax and breaking big rocks into small ones.
16:17 November 14, 2011 by ?????
Well, it seems like another case of Swedish-defined "rape".

I guess Sweden should have a look on its laws and definitions of rape, otherwise soon all the girls will be crying "rape" and we all know what happened to the guy that "cried wolf"...
16:21 November 14, 2011 by StuartM
These kinds of attitudes are extremely common in supposedly 'feminist' Sweden. It sadly shows how far the country still has to go before the rights of women and girls are taken seriously. But it's also typical of a culture where noone seems to take responsibility for anything. I'm always shocked at the way people in Sweden seem to be able to escape all responsibility or blame even when they clearly have a role in some of the most appalling scandals imaginable.
16:23 November 14, 2011 by Abe L
With #7, you can't judge this without understanding the implications of the real events. Looking at a female in the wrong way will get you charged with rape in Sweden it seems. Without facts it's impossible to judge and the principal might have handled it the way you would expect.
17:16 November 14, 2011 by HYBRED
Let the principal get slamed with some unwanted salami and see if he still says "boys will be boys".
18:00 November 14, 2011 by Frobobbles
It was probably a 'rape'
18:50 November 14, 2011 by Summer Dreams
someone define what exactly rape is in sweden.

hope am not raping this site
20:25 November 14, 2011 by Opinionfool
Maybe the head had been listening to English politician Ken Clarke who reckoned there were some rapes that were not serious. Clarke was eventually forced to retract his opinion --- though he has never apologised for it. Or the head was relying on earlier reports here of how similar sexual crimes are met with a bewildering response from the Swedish (non)justice system. A girl can be photographed naked while drunk but the law says that no molestation occurred because the girl could not object to being photographed. So why can't a girl be raped and it's just accounted for "as something that boys do"?

There's also a whole lot wrong with this report. Not the down-playing of the rape by the staff but the chronology The Local has presented doesn't add up. How many times was the girl raped? In February and in March? Or just once? Or was it alleged in February and attempted in March? But as we know from past experience The Local's reporting of such crimes has been haphazard at best.
21:02 November 14, 2011 by dizzymoe33
What a F**cking joke!!! Sweden needs to wake up and change it's laws. It doesn't matter if it was a woman, man or child raped-rape is rape!!! It needs to be taken seriously. If I found out it happened to my loved on you might as well lock me up now and throw away the key because I would do some serious damaged to the person.
02:41 November 15, 2011 by Tanskalainen
This school is like something out of a hentai cartoon.
10:04 November 15, 2011 by pintoflex
where's the shock or surprise? swedish laws do so little to defend women in cases of rape and molestation there's no wonder....

the message we send out is that it's not wrong or forbidden to do so but that it's the women's job not to get raped.
10:28 November 15, 2011 by animal_politicum
Sexual crimes are defined ch. 6 of the Swedish Criminal Code (Brottsbalken): http://www.riksdagen.se/webbnav/index.aspx?nid=3911&bet=1962:700#K6

A rough translation of Brottsbalken 6 kap. 1 § would read:

A person who by assault or in other ways by violence or by threat of a criminal act forces a person to intercourse or to do or bear other sexual acts which with regard to the kind and circumstances of the violation is comparable with intercourse is sentenced to prison for a minimum of two years and a maximum of six years.

The same applies to a person who has intercourse with or subjects another to a sexual act which according to the first section is comparable to intercourse by taking advantage of the person being rendered helpless by unconsciousness, sleep, intoxication or other drug-related state, illness, physical or mental handicap, or other circumstances.

If the crime is, with regards to the circumstances, to be considered less violent the perpetrator is sentenced to prison sentence for a maximum of four years.

If the crime in the first section is considered violent rape the perpetrator is sentenced to a prison sentence of a minimum of four years and a maximum of ten years. In order to classify the crime as violent the character of the force and threat is especially to be considered and if there were multiple perpetrators or if the perpetrator in any other way showed extreme cruelty.
10:58 November 15, 2011 by muscle
lol and then countries claim they have low rape cases! hahahaa
19:11 November 15, 2011 by Hatchetface
I feel really uncomfortable reading these comments. Without knowing anything about this girl, people judge her. This is what she told the principal, and the principal should have handled this in some other way. It doesn't mean that the boy(?) is found guilty by a court of law, but it is not something you should just laugh about.

I've been through this myself, in a swedish school. People almost never takes these things serious and it isn't strange that men and women doesn't trust society to help them.
23:09 November 15, 2011 by Bonnaroo
Sweden prosecutes homeschool parents and gives full endorsement to rape at public schools. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
08:22 November 16, 2011 by Tamm O'Shanter
There is an attitude, in Sweden, of 'Don't rock the boat' - and moral cowardice among those in authority.,

When something serious DOES happen, its much easier to pretend it didn't, rather than disturb one's comfy little existence and actually do something about it
16:43 November 18, 2011 by Rossminster
It always amazes me how people are so quick to comment as if they know the whole story.

We don't. Specifically, we don't know what the girl alleged happened, and we don't know if what she said took place would meet most people's definition of "rape" or not.

It could be that she told the principal that she had been raped when she had not, and when the principal heard exactly what had happened, she was told, in effect, "Don't be silly. That's not rape."
18:40 November 18, 2011 by tadchem
Never assume that the teacher is right. A recent case here in the US involved a mother who complained her 14-yr old developmentally disabled daughter was being bullied, but the school official discounted her story - until recordings she had made by bugging her own daughter for 4 days proved the child was being bullied - by both the teacher and the teacher's aide!
20:25 November 19, 2011 by jtbev
everyone involved is damn lucky it was not my daughter.
16:23 November 20, 2011 by karvictho
Why are people surprised and disbelieving of the possibility the story, as told here, is true? Not only do the disbelivers not know the people involved or the actual circumstances --- they feel it is ok to cast a vote in favour of the school. This response is much like that which rape victims, and children being molested, often get from the people who should be safeguarding them, and the community. By the way.... before you protest... it is one thing to say "I need more info about the facts from both sides" It's another to say "She's lying" and you haven't any facts.
21:24 January 29, 2012 by janeway
No schools take responsibility for anyhting that happen on their premises. May it be rape or bullying or any other crime. It's better to have the victim transfer to another scholl instead of getting bad publicity or "ruining the prepetrators future".

The Swedish school system sux!
17:54 September 7, 2012 by leonore
It said the mother called the principal about 'her' comments.

Does that mean the principal is a woman?
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