• Sweden's news in English

Schoolboy compensated for racial bullying

David Landes · 18 Nov 2010, 17:13

Published: 18 Nov 2010 17:13 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Over a period of several years, the boy was bullied by fellow students and called a number of derogatory names, including “negro”, “nigger” and “nigger bastard”, on account of his ethnic background.

The bullying began in elementary school and continued into middle school and the boy’s predicament was well-known by nearly all of the teachers and staff employed at the school.

The boy’s parents first reported the incident to the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) in 2007, which turned the case over to the ombudsman.

In their initial complaint, the boy’s parents admit that their son often got into disagreements with fellow students but that school officials were unwilling to participate in efforts by the parents to help their son improve his behavior.

The parents also explained that some teachers told the boy he brought the insults on himself, including one incident in which his life had been threatened.

“The school shows no regard and little understanding for the insults he has been subjected to and how down he feels about being called a nigger bastard on a daily basis,” the parents wrote in their complaint.

“Our son doesn’t have the option of feeling safe when school personnel don’t recognize the insults he’s long been subjected to and we’re worried about both is mental health and his continued presence in school.”

Following an investigation, the ombudsman concluded that the municipality in which the school is located had broken several chapters in Sweden’s law forbidding the discrimination and other insulting behaviour of children and students.

Story continues below…

Through a negotiated a settlement with the municipality, the boy is set to receive 75,000 kronor ($10,800) in compensation.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:43 November 18, 2010 by Kevtravels
Amazing that can happen today and no 1 standing up for him
19:10 November 18, 2010 by izbz
That happen in most Swedish school, to avoid been mob most kids start to join *gangs'. Teacher seems not being able to do much about mobbings and discrimination.
19:29 November 18, 2010 by bchamlagai
it's not good that people start to dominate others. all are human.they should punished them more.coz once you got mental disturbances it's hard to erase at once.
20:18 November 18, 2010 by Rolle
Nice precedent they are setting... now let's sit and wait for the thousand of bullying victims around the country start filing claims against the school board, municipalities, etc.

I just don't see how can schools be held liable for the damages caused by fellow students. I mean, if anybody, i'd first put the blame on bully's parents.

I think Kent song, education campaigns, etc. are much better way to stop the tremendous bullying problem.
20:30 November 18, 2010 by Swedesmith
I hate bullies....but for 75000 kr I will volunteer to be bullied. Where do I sign up?
22:44 November 18, 2010 by Authentica
@Rolle: Just to remind you, the bullying took place at the school, not at the bullyers homes. It's true that you start learning about respect (among other things) at home, but school plays a role too. The education campaigns that you mention, should take place at schools first.
00:39 November 19, 2010 by DAVID T
I was called a white bastard at school and never got any money for it
10:06 November 19, 2010 by EuropeanIsraeli
When the racists Swedes make fun and jokes about the sufferings of my people (The Jews)... Will the (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen - DO) compensate or at least offer an official apology ?
14:07 November 19, 2010 by Rolle
@Authentica: A school is not a concentration camp. I'm sure you went to school so i can only guess you would agree with me is just impossible to the teachers staff to keep surveilance on all it's students during their whole stay in the school premises.

IT IS NOT AN EDUCATION SYSTEM ISSUE BUT A SOCIAL-FAMILY ONE. Until we understand this you can forget about putting an end to this sad/dangerous situation with the bullying. And this compensation issued by a shortsighted court is only going to be a big flush of taxpayers money DOWN THE F**** TOILET.
15:23 November 19, 2010 by svenskamerikansk
And the moral of the story is: victimhood can be a profitable business. The Swedish grievance industry just got a big boost and professional, perpetual victims just got a bit of of encouragement.
18:36 November 19, 2010 by 4real
Multiculturalism never works. It always leads to this.
19:44 November 19, 2010 by OnessOfMankind
4real..you say that to the creator why did He create different looking humans.

and you have no right whatso ever to interfere in Gods work, how many flowers and roses He created.

Or how many planets He created and why you are just one creation.

Or how there is so much organization of the world the sun the moon the biosystem.

You must read more and learn more culture and education and manners are beautiful things to have as ahuman being.

when one lacks them he will fall into mistake of racism and hate.
21:13 November 19, 2010 by Swedesmith
Nicely said.
12:04 November 20, 2010 by HowSwedeitis
@4real: You don't what you're talking about.

OK, one, the money should be put in a trust fund for educational purposes only. Two, I am curious as to how the boy "…often got into disagreements with fellow students…" It wouldn't surprise me if the boy "poked the hornet's nest" to incite these negative comments. Lastly, I too am worried that this sets a dangerous precedent for others to follow; "oh, I got called a bad name. Time to sue…"

14:15 November 21, 2010 by alingsaskev
What is the matter with the commentators on the message boards today? I can really not understand how intolerant you all are. Like it or not, Sweden is becoming an increasingly multicultural society. It is a social engineering experiment which like it or loath it, right or wrong, is here to stay and must be managed.

The article states that a boy of ethnic origin was hounded by classmates over a protracted period of time and that the adults who are employed to look after not only his education, but his pastoral care were negligent in their duties. Teachers are "in loco parentis", and when a child is away from home, are responsible for a childs' wellbeing. The teaching faculty were aware of the abuse, were consulted on the issue and failed to act. This in itself is grounds for concern.

The article states that teachers considered that the boy brought insults upon himself. It seems that they believe that the boy has somehow chosen to be black, that it was his fault that he was a "nigger bastard." It is more likely that the boy became tired of being called a "nigger" and began to fight back, exacerbating the circumstances and snowballing. This demonstrates even further that those with the power to stop this issue sliding further failed to do so - therefore the boys parents had every right to consult the ombudsman, and rightly were awarded compensation for the failure of the state.

It is illegal under both EU and Swedish law to treat someone differently due to Ethnicity, Religious Beliefs, Sexual Orientation or disability. If Sweden is to take it's modern multicultural society seriously, it's institutions and society as a whole really need to begin to tackle what is in effect institutional racism - and stop believing that anything un-swedish is none of it's concern and will sort itself out.
01:19 December 11, 2010 by frosti
I knew this kid was a "minority" the instant I saw the headline. Gee, I wonder why the ethnic Swedes who are discriminated against and victimized -including being deliberately targeted for rape, robbery, and murder - simply for being of Swedish descent never get anything for their pain and suffering? Could it be because the current regime in Sweden is a hateful, racist oligarchy which despises anything truly Swedish?

How ironic that Nobel Prize winners should be making speeches about human rights and democracy in a police state like Sweden.
08:45 December 27, 2010 by ericrufinosiah
Don't tell me that there is only one school in the whole of Sweden.?
04:10 February 13, 2011 by aconitecat
@OnessOfMankind: 'God' didn't make different looking humans; he just made humans which have eventually spread all over the earth and their location/environment affected their diets and appearance.

And 4real wasn't interfering. He/she was just voicing his/her weak statement.
Today's headlines
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Presented by Stockholm University
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Nordic fashion took centre stage in the Swedish capital last week as Stockholm University hosted the “first-ever” academic conference looking at luxury and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Referee, coach and parents in Swedish youth football fight
File photo of a referee holding a red card not related to the story. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

A football dad broke his leg in the brawl in front of 11-year-old kids after a Hammarby youth football game.

Swedish PM visits Iraq for talks on Isis
Stefan Löfven (left) and Haider al-Abadi (right). Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Stefan Löfven will discuss the offensive on Mosul with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available