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Elite Swedish school rocked by hazing scandal

Elite Swedish school rocked by hazing scandal

Published: 24 Apr 2012 08:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Apr 2012 08:58 GMT+02:00

Five students from the same prestigious Swedish boarding school once attended by King Carl XVI Gustaf have been arrested on suspicions of violently beating a fellow student.

"It's a matter of severe violence and hazing," a source told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

The five students from Sigtuna Humanistiska läroverk (SSHL) located north of Stockholm are between 17- and 19-years-old, and are now the subject of a preliminary criminal investigation, police confirmed for the TT news agency.

The five have allegedly been engaged in a long-running bullying campaign against a fellow student involving violence which prosecutor Yngve Rydberg compared with aggravated assault.

"Unfortunately, I can't say more because it could compromise the investigation. A number of people will be questioned," Rydberg told Aftonbladet

The head of the school, Kent Edberg, also confirmed the students had been arrested, but refused to provide any more details about the incident.

"Due to privacy concerns and out of consideration for all our students I can't comment any further on this," he told TT.

Edberg emphasized that he considered the matter an isolated incident at the school, adding that it was the school who notified police about the alleged assault.

"A crime at SSHL should be treated like a crime in society. When we receive indications about something that we can't handle within our regulatory framework, we report it to police," he said.

Edberg referred to the incident as "tragic" and said the school was still exploring what other measures to take to address the situation.

Late in 2011, Sweden's Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) slammed all three of Sweden's boarding schools – Sigtuna, Gränna and Lundsberg – over the schools' policies and attitudes toward hazing.

In March, a lawsuit seeking 178,400 kronor ($26,523) in damages was filed against Lundsberg on behalf of a former student who had suffered continuous bullying at the hands of other students.

Sigtuna Humanistiska läroverk was formed in 1980 through a merger of Sigtunastiftelsens Humanistiska Läroverk and Sigtunaskolan and currently has an enrollment of about 580 students, two thirds of whom live at the school.

In addition to the King, the elite school was also attended by well-known Swedes such as Olof Palme, banking executive Annika Falkengren, as well as members of the Wallenberg family.

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Your comments about this article

12:08 April 24, 2012 by NickJT
These kind of things happen in many schools across Sweden.Let's not make this into a report that gets blown up out of all proportion just because it's a private school that the king and other well known Swedes have attended. I dare to speculate that Sigtunaskolan one of the lowest incidents of this kind in the country. It's a well run school where discipline and order are key to it's success.
13:17 April 24, 2012 by Abe L
#1, these things happen at many schools across the entire planet. They have always happened and will always happen. It's a disgrace the police is actually involved in bullying matters.

It's much better to have the bullied kid learn to stand up for himself, send them to the gym get some martial arts training and these things disappear as fast as they came around. The bullies will just divert attention to someone else. That however is a process that will never stop.
15:42 April 24, 2012 by karex
Isn't it much better to educate people to have respect and consideration for others? Teaching them "to stand up for themselves and get some martial arts under their belt" is only meeting violence with more violence. That's no solution, that's just increasing the problem.
17:10 April 24, 2012 by Rishonim
I say teach them some good ol Krav Maga with a bit of respect and consideration goes a long way my dear Karex
23:18 April 24, 2012 by username4321
"It's much better to have the bullied kid learn to stand up for himself, send them to the gym get some martial arts training"- that is completely ridiculous considering the circumstances. To criticize the police for their involvement is also unjustified because this incident goes far beyond bullying/hazing, it is aggravated assault. You may not have been to this school but I can promise you that this is not an example of bullying from peer to peer, it is an example of an ongoing hazing tradition that is centered around a group of 5-10 3d ringers that beat a first ringer to a pulp.
06:57 April 25, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
I am also glad that the police are involved.

Students in a boarding school may assume that the school is their entire world, and once they ascertain who the disciplinarians are, they begin to calculate what they can get away with.

A police investigation and arrests/charges will teach them that there is a real world out there, and that they are still part of this world even on their campus, where they will be held accountable for their conduct..

And this is not an action movie. A single unarmed student, or even an adult, basically has no chance if 5 seventeen to nineteen year olds decide to beat him up.
13:09 April 25, 2012 by username4321
I agree those are all good point. I can tell you from experience that what you said is accurate. Many (not all) of the kids at SSHL feel like they are on top of the world by the time they reach 3rd Ring because of their family's last name and the amount of summer homes they have. To be fair though, this does happen at other places such as Dartmouth but this is different because in college, everyone is an adult and they choose to join a frat whereas at SSHL you are simply placed in a home.
15:07 April 28, 2012 by JCD39
Would these incidents be accepted in the wokplace? No.

The perpetrators should be tried in court, just like any other people found guilty of brutal behavior.
13:51 October 16, 2012 by Helge Krupski
Open Information for prosecutors and police in Sweden about King of Sweden (read in "My Notes") - http://www.facebook.com/Helge.Kroupski

Open letter to The Royal Court of Sweden about King of Sweden (read in "My Notes") - http://www.facebook.com/Helge.Kroupski
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