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Hazing scandal closes elite Swedish school

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Hazing scandal closes elite Swedish school
13:31 CEST+02:00
Sweden's School Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) has decided to close temporarily the scandal-hit boarding school Lundsbergs, after reports that two students were burned with an iron in a hazing ritual.

The hazing incident took place at the weekend, leaving two boys, aged 14 and 15, with burns. Nine students are suspected for their involvement in the assault and were asked to leave the school on Tuesday.

Ann-Marie Begler, General Director of the Schools Inspectorate, said the temporarily closure could be the death knell for the elite school.

"It is very sad that so shortly after our inspection, and a few days after the students returned to school, such serious incidents take place," Begler told the TT news agency on Wednesday.

"It is not at all compatible with how a school should function. And we can see that the measures taken have not in any way been enough."

The school, which is the alma mater of Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and many other members of Swedish high-society, has been hit with a series of reports of students being assaulted in hazing rituals. In May last year, students at the school spoke out after being forced into oral sex and eating manure. In 2011, a student had their nipples burned with an electric fly swatter.

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

The inspectorate has also informed the government that it should consider withdrawing state funding to Lundsbergs.

"It's a very interventionary decision, I'm aware of this, but our mandate is to protect children and students," Begler said.

The agency's decision means that all operations at the school will cease starting on Thursday. The closure can last up to six months.

In October of last year, the agency told the school that it will impose a 500,000 kronor ($75,000) fine if it didn't act to stamp out the practice of bullying and violence among pupils.

TT/The Local/at

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