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BULLYING

Student’s nipples burned with electric fly swatter

Prestigious Swedish boarding school Lundsberg, alma mater of Prince Carl Philip and many others among the upper echelons of Swedish society, has been rocked by a scandal stemming from a report of excessive bullying among the students.

Student's nipples burned with electric fly swatter
Prestigious Swedish boarding school Lundsberg in Värmland county

”When I got upstairs, older students jumped me. They threw me down on the ground and started delivering punches,” the former student wrote in his report, according to daily Expressen.

The boy who filed the complaint finished secondary school at Lundsberg, located in Värmland county in western Sweden, a few years ago.

But during the summer he decided to file a report about what goes on at the boarding school to the Swedish School Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen).

”The staff and the principal knew then, and still know, that these things occurs – but they do nothing to stop it,” the former pupil wrote.

His report describes being beaten after failing to bow when leaving a room; of younger students’ rooms being checked with a cotton swab for cleanliness; and of being forced to do push-ups while older students kept watch, holding baseball bats.

On one occasion, some of the older students acquired electric fly swatters following an excursion to Ikea which they subsequently used to burn the boy’s nipples with as punishment for some other alleged infraction.

”We have recently found out about this and I can’t comment on it at present, as an internal investigation is being carried out,” pricipal Staffan Hörnberg told Expressen regarding the fly swatter incident.

However, others close to the school confirmed to the paper that staff have been aware of untoward things happening within the different dormitories at the school and that staff and students have been told not to talk to anyone outside the school about it.

The mother of a former student told the paper that the students feel they shouldn’t betray the school, even to their parents.

”These boys will reveal nothing. That’s the culture at that place,” she said.

Founded in 1896, Lundsberg was inspired by British boarding school tradition and currently has an enrollment of around 200 students, around 60 percent of which are boys.

Hörnberg admitted to the inspectorate that a dormitory supervisor had failed in his responsibilities, allowing some of these violations to take place.

But he denied to Expressen having had any knowledge of the incidents before the report.

”We are treating this very seriously. We have made extremely thorough investigations and have taken forceful steps to combat the problem. I will not accept that these violations occur,” he said to Expressen.

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SCHOOLS

‘Sweden’s Eton’ probed after new abuse claims

Sweden's Schools Inspectorate has demanded answers from Sweden's most elite boarding school, after one or more pupils were reported to the local police for alleged sex crimes.

'Sweden's Eton' probed after new abuse claims
Lundsbergs School is in Värmland,a three-hour drive west of Stockholm. Photo: Johanr/Wikimedia Commons
Lundsbergs Boarding School counts Sweden’s Prince Carl Phillip and the scions of some the country’s richest families among its alumni, earning it the title “Sweden’s Eton”. 
 
But the school has repeatedly faced accusations of severe bullying, with the Schools Inspectorate ordering it to be shut down in 2013 following allegations that boys were burned with hot irons by older pupils.
 
According to “unconfirmed information” published in Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper, the police investigation launched this week relates to a secretly filmed sex tape showing sexual abuse of female pupils. 
 
Björn Persson, acting head for the Swedish Schools Inspectorate's investigations wing in Gothenburg confirmed to Sweden’s TT newswire that he had been in contact with the school. 
 
“We have had telephone contact with the headmaster after which we decided to request a written report. We want them to explain what happened and what remedies have been taken,” Persson said.
 
According to Aftonbladet school staff reported one or more pupils to the police.
 
“I can confirm that we have received such notification and that it applies to several plaintiffs,” Anders Forsman of the local Värmland police told the newspaper. “It is the school management who made the complaint and it concerns incidents that are further back in time, but have been revealed now. This is not something which has happened this year.”
 
However, Aftonbladet newspaper reported on Thursday that a pupil had been hit with a belt, although the school’s headmaster Johan Harryson said this had been exaggerated. 
 
“Two students got into a serious disagreement with one another and we have sent one home for unacceptable verbal attacks. A belt was waved around, and there was contact with the belt at one point, but according to the victim the fright was the main thing.”
 
Harryson, who was appointed in 2014 to draw a line under the school’s problems, said the turnaround was still a work in progress. 
 
“We have worked extremely determinedly to make sure such things no longer happen, but we’re not there yet” he told TT. “It simply behoves us to keep working at it.” 
 
Sweden’s Schools Inspectorate in 2011 roundly condemned the school in a report claiming that younger pupils were regularly humiliated and abused by their seniors, with little attempt from the school's management to intervene.