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Two pupils convicted for boarding school hazing

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The back of the burned pupil. Photo: Polisen
11:25 CET+01:00
A Swedish court has convicted two students at the boarding school Lundsberg of causing bodily harm, after a younger student had his back burned with an iron during hazing that provoked national soul-searching about the culture of elite schooling.

Nine students took part in the submission ritual, in which a hot iron was pressed against the younger pupil's back.

READ ALSO: A timeline of the Lundsberg hazing scandal

The pupils said that the iron should have only been plugged into the socket for a few moments to fool the younger students that it was hot, but it remained plugged in for a few seconds. The two students who were convicted and sentenced to community service on Friday had handled the iron and put the plug into the socket. 

"You have to be very careful when you handle an iron, which they were not," the district court spokesman Lars Bjurstam said in a statement. 

Nine students, all born in 1995, and one school employee were charged for their involvement in the iron hazing incident last November. The employee, the school's dormitory supervisor, was charged for complicity as he knew about the hazing plan and had allowed it. 

The court on Friday sentenced the two teens to community service rather than juvenile detention because they had not had the intention to harm the younger pupil.

The controversial incident sparked soul-searching in Sweden about the role of the elite boarding school, the alma mater of Prince Carl Philip. Immediately following reports of the assault, the Swedish Schools Inspectorate closed the school.

A court decision overturned that decision by stating that the inspectorate had no right to pass judgment on the goings-on outside the classroom, as the assault took place in the dormitories. The school was reopened shortly afterwards.

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The two students will now have to pay 19,400 kronor ($3,000) each to their victim.

"We didn't mean to hurt anyone, it was all tongue-in-cheek," one of the students said during the trial. 

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