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DISCRIMINATION

Back to school for sex-pest driving instructors

Swedish driving instructors will have to study etiquette rules after revelations that one in seven young female students felt their teacher had sexually harassed them.

Back to school for sex-pest driving instructors

“The figures were much higher than I ever expected,” Michael Axelsson, deputy chair of the Swedish Assocation of Driving Schools (Sveriges trafikskolors riksförbund), told the Svenska Dagbladet (SVD) newspaper.

“So I felt we had to act.”

As part of an extensive review, SVD surveyed female students at Stockholm University and found that one in seven said their driving instructor had subjected them to sexual harassment.

Several readers contacted the newspaper after it published the finding.

“I immediately recognized the comment that the gear stick looks like a penis,” wrote one woman who took driving lessons when she was 19 years old.

Another reader wrote to say that her instructor used to say she could have free lessons at night, another that her teacher would ask her questions about her sex life.

Most readers felt that because they were so young when they were practicing for their driving test, they did not yet know how to draw boundaries or stand up to the authority figure.

The Driving Schools Association was already drawing up new guidelines, but has decided to speed up the work.

The new code will look at everything from appropriate language to how the instructors should dress and if it is ever permissible to touch a student.

The new etiquette rules will also give advice on how to act if you run into your student socially or if they try to add you on Facebook, SVD reported.

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CRIME

Police in Sweden block Danish extremist’s new demo

Police in western Sweden have rejected an appeal by the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan against a decision to deny him permission for a Koran-burning protest in Borås.

Police in Sweden block Danish extremist's new demo

“Rasmus Paludan has a rhetoric which is intended to create disorder and chaos,” Emelie Kullmyr, the police officer in charge of protecting this year’s General Election in Western Sweden, said in a press release.

“We have seen how the public has been exposed to serious danger and police officers have been injured. The task of the police is to ensure security and we will do that, but all positive forces need to be helped to maintain peace and order.” 

In the press release, the police emphasised the importance of the public’s right to demonstrate and express their opinions freely, but said that the right to hold public demonstrations could still be curtailed in “exceptional cases”. 

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Paludan, who aimed to hold the demonstration on April 29th, can now appeal the police’s decision at the local civil court in Borås. 

He has now applied to hold on May 1st rallies in Uppsala and Stockholm for his far-right party Stram Kurs, or “Hard Line”. 

Koran-burning demonstrations held over the Easter holidays in the cities of Norrköping, Linköping, Malmö, Örebro, and in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby, led to the worst riots Sweden has seen in decades, with 100 police officers injured.

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