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Teen girl gets five years for failed firebomb attack on school

AFP · 24 Nov 2009, 16:42

Published: 24 Nov 2009 16:42 GMT+01:00

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Previously been identified by police as Tanja Otto, the teenager was tried behind closed doors because of her age. She was found guilty of attempted murder, causing grievous bodily harm and preparing explosives, a court spokesman said.

The girl stormed her secondary school in Sankt Augustin near Bonn on May 11 brandishing an arsenal including Molotov cocktails and a short sword.

Investigators say she planned to stab her teacher with the blade, then lock the classroom door and set off the firebombs.

However, while preparing her attack in the school toilets, she was disturbed by a 17-year-old fellow pupil, whom she hacked at with the sword.

A teacher raised the alarm and armed commandos specially trained to deal with a school massacre rushed to the scene. The 800 students at the school were told over loudspeakers to lock the doors and lie on the floor.

The 16-year-old fled but gave herself up later the same day to police at Cologne's main train station.

Story continues below…

The incident came two months after 17-year-old boy sent shock waves through Germany when he shot dead nine pupils and three teachers at his old school in

Winnenden, and then three passers-by.

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Your comments about this article

23:02 November 24, 2009 by Logic Guy
Well, now it should be quite obvious to German citizens, that the main focus for kids should be Psychology. Humans are not born with the ability to think effectively. It is something that we must all learn. Yes, history, science and math are all important. However, they are useless if the student doesn't know how to fully relate to those things.

If educators don't realize what I'm saying, then the violence will surely continue.
03:24 November 25, 2009 by iline
Germany is second only to America in the number of school shootings perpetrated by disgruntled students. I believe that the two nations share the same conformist culture that means that failing students are made to feel guilty about their shortcomings. In Germany, it seems imperative to attain good grades at school, go to a good university, get a good job and earn good money - the same brainwashed culture of achievement that puts so much emphasis on winning. Therefore those that fall short of this national standard are 'losers' - perpetually unable to catch up with their peers, and made to feel alienated as a result.

An expensive mentoring system would not only help each student get the grades, but would also give early warning about the students likely to snap.
04:39 November 25, 2009 by The-ex-pat
Logic Guy and iline both have good points, but one thing is missing. The German belief that children are not disciplined or told to calm down when they are running riot. Something that my wife and I disagree about with out children at least once a week with our own children.
10:43 November 25, 2009 by Helligånds
I cannot really say that how the German try to train their young ones to be successfull in life is so bad, there are some who cannot take the pressure but how many go on amok out of millions.

Well as I read this article, I think that is more to worry than the German.

13:53 November 25, 2009 by 007_Fraggle
My German Girlfriend attends a school in Stuttgart and this is some of what she says happens on a daily basis

Mobbing, favoritism, mass cheating, weak teaching skills, spoilt kids using social standing to influence teachers and directors.

When a teacher uses a class to confront another student on issues not relating to that class or school is this not mobbing?

When students are under so much pressure to pass tests they resort to mass copying and cheating whilst taking the test are they being taught anything?

Germany has a very bad education system where the poor automatically goes to the bottom of the pile there are is also no second chances and if you have any sort of social problems outside of school this is highlighted in school. This all adds up to what any self respecting education minister would see as a recipe for disaster. Me personally I am expecting the body count to keep climbing and just wait untill they find out that they can buy very large knives anywhere and also available in every home kitchen.
18:58 November 27, 2009 by Cincinnatus
Hopefully she won't get as harsh a sentence as those dangerous Christians, who home-schooled their children.
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