Swedish school faces big fine for hazing

Oct. 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- An elite boarding school in Sweden faces a heavy fine if it doesn't crack down on widespread bullying, government officials said Friday.

The Lundsberg School, in Varmland on the country's western border with Norway, has a long tradition of student hazing, The Local.se reported.

The Swedish Schools Inspectorate put the school on notice to stop institutionalized bullying following an investigation in November 2011. Lundsberg was given until Feb. 28, 2012, to show it could end the practice of older pupils disciplining younger pupils, often by using violence and humiliation.

On Friday, the agency said the school had failed to address the problem and warned a $75,000 fine would be imposed if it did not take corrective action.

"Vulnerable pupils at a boarding school are in a particularly difficult situation as they can't just go home," Ann-Marie Begler, an agency official, said in a statement.

The principal admitted that a pecking order existed at the school and students had to work their way up a hierarchy to gain use of a "slave," the report said.

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