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Many bullied students go without compensation

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10:53 CEST+02:00
Five years after the law against abuse and discrimination in schools came into force, 66 students have received a total of 3.7 million kronor ($606,000) in damages.

However more than 3,000 cases have been written off and closed despite the fact that many of the students were subjected to bullying, as reported by Sverige's Radio (SR).

“Although it is established that a pupil has been subjected to a serious violation, it is not enough for me to seek damages,” Child and Student Ombudsman Lars Arrhenius from the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) told SR.

“One must also have failed to have taken reasonable measures. In some cases, we found that the student had been subjected to insults, but the school took it seriously, investigated the situation and took strong measures to stop it. Then I cannot claim damages in those situations.”

Through February of this year, 3,215 complaints have been filed from students who felt violated.

Of them, 66 received compensation, with 27 of those having been violated by a teacher, not bullied by a student.

Amounts paid out have varied between 5,000 kronor ($820) and, at the highest, 246,000 kronor ($40,300), which was paid by south Sweden's Höörs municipality to a seriously bullied pupil in Ringsjö School.

While 44 students are waiting to hear whether or not they will receive compensation from claims put forth by the Office of the Child and Student Ombudsman (BEO), the office has taken another 698 complaints directly to the principals, criticizing their negligence to stop bullying but not seeking any remuneration.

This means that a total of 3,105 cases will not advance for various reasons, such as some might not be offended, some are not sufficiently injured as stipulated by the law, and others may be difficult to prove if it's word against word.

If a school has taken solid steps to stop bullying and measures are unsuccessful, damages are still not sought.

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