Swedish schoolgirls strike over boys’ taunts

Nine 15-year-old girls at a school in Sweden have gone on strike in an attempt to escape disruptive boys in their class.

The girls in class 8 at Gustav Adolf School in Landskrona started their protest on Wednesday after accusing male classmates of bullying. They say the boys used foul language, spat on them from a balcony and put sticky tape in their hair.

The school is now trying to lure the girls back to the classroom by offering to teach them in single-sex classes.

Headmaster Patrik Helgesson said the tensions between the sexes was caused by male jealousy of the girls’ ambition.

“The boys feel that they don’t get as much attention, and that the attention they do get is negative attention. They are jealous and are expressing their jealousy in the wrong way,” he told news agency TT.

Local politicians are calling for teachers to show pupils the firm smack of discipline:

“There are already possible punishments, and they must be used. Detention, for example,” said Niklas Karlsson, a Social Democrat who chairs Landskrona Council’s children’s committee.

Sanctions, however, have not been forthcoming. Patrik Helgesson said he gathered the boys in the class for a “serious conversation.”

“There have been various claims over who was the ringleader, so we chose to gather them all together,” he told local paper Landskrona Posten.

The boys, meanwhile, claim to be puzzled by all the fuss.

“I really don’t understand why the girls are striking. I’ve never seen anything,” said one boy contacted by Landskrona Posten.

The school will hold a meeting with parents early next week to discuss the idea of single-sex classes. Meanwhile, the headmaster says he expects the girls to turn up for lessons on Monday.