Elite school to reopen after court ruling
6 Sep 2013, 11:45
Published: 06 Sep 2013 11:45 GMT+02:00
- 'Elite school hazing was illegal torture': expert (30 Aug 13)
- Principal sacked at elite Swedish boarding school (29 Aug 13)
- Hazing scandal closes elite Swedish school (28 Aug 13)
The administrative court (förvaltningsrätten) on Friday overruled a decision taken by the Sweden's School Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) to shutter the school following revelations that two boys, aged 14 and 15, were burned by other students with an iron.
Nine students were suspected for their involvement in the assault and were asked to leave the school soon after.
The inspectorate decided that the school should be temporarily shut down, meaning 200 students were left to find alternative learning arrangements.
"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," Ann-Marie Begler, General Director of the Schools Inspectorate, told the TT news agency at the time.
In delivering its ruling on Friday, the court said the school watchdog had failed to prove that students' safety was at risk.
"The investigation doesn't support that the education or the school environment poses a risk for the safety of the students," the court ruled.
The school is set to resume classes on Monday, a decision welcomed by the Lundsberg board.
"First and foremost I'm happy for the students. It's been a difficult for them to get places at other schools in their home municipalities," Sofia Orre, a member of the school's board, told the TT news agency.
She admitted, however, that it's possible not all students will return to Lundsberg on Monday.
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, Lundsberg was inspired by British boarding school tradition and currently has an enrollment of around 200 students, around 60 percent of which are boys.
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.