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Teacher in probe for 'making bombs with kids'

The Local · 11 Jan 2012, 11:31

Published: 11 Jan 2012 11:31 GMT+01:00

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The 39-year-old teacher at the Free Waldorf School in Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein allegedly told parents he had added pipe-bomb construction to his lesson plan “for fun”, the Lübecker Nachrichten (LN) newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Ulrike N., the mother of one of the students, told the paper, “I don’t know what I should say. No curriculum in the world has something like that in it.”

She said her son told her the teacher helped him and his fifth-grade classmates make gun powder, put it into pipes and set the resulting bombs off using fireworks.

The bombs were about the size of a litre bottle and made from metal, the woman said. In one case when a bomb was set off, the kids were only about 30 metres away and were not wearing eye or ear protection, she added.

“The explosion was so violent that the children felt the blast wave in their stomachs,” she told the LN.

Klaus-Dieter Schulz, spokesman for the local prosecutors’ office told The Local a parent of a child had reported the teacher to police, triggering an investigation in May 2011. The teacher was being investigated on suspicion of making and exploding two bombs during 2010.

He could be fined or sentenced to up to three years in prison if convicted, as well as losing his teaching certificate, Schulz said, but he stressed that the man had not been arrested.

Despite allegations that parents’ concerns about the teacher had been “played down” school representative Hans Peter Scherer said that the allegations were being investigated.

“The teacher concerned continues to enjoy the confidence of the school board, the school leadership and the parents,” he wrote in a statement to the LN.

Story continues below…

He declined comment when reached by The Local Wednesday.

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:28 January 11, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
oh what a bunch of nonsense.

When I was in secondary school here in Germany, our chemistry teacher once set up an experiment in class to illustrate the power of the internal combustion engine (that thing under the hood of your car)... he poured a few milliliters of gasoline into a polymer plastic bottle, shook it up to create gasoline vapors, and then inserted something similar to a spark plug (if memory serves) into the bottle. Then he hooked the "spark plug" up to a battery and switched a circuit breaker. The result was a resounding bang. Nobody got hurt because in preparation for this, we were asked to open all the classroom windows and sit all the way in the back.

The experiment had been an approved part of the curriculum for years. Nobody ever doubted its wisdom, nobody worried for the safety of the kids or that it might give students bad ideas. You might argue that showing kids how to build a pipe bomb isn't a very wise thing to do... but when you think about it, neither was showing us students back in the day how to effectively build a gasoline bomb.
13:25 January 11, 2012 by zeddriver

While to a large degree I would agree with you. I myself think back to when I was in school learning such things. And I have to say. Back then (60's -70's for me) most kids were concerned about playing sports. and just goofing off. We didn't have militant behavior from anyone. The worst it would get, Would be an occasional fist fight between two wanabe tough guys. It's different these days. The kids seem to have a much more negative outlook on life. And are much more willing to display that negativity. Coupled with the fact that in most families, Both parents work. So the kids are supervised far less than when I was young. Add to that the internet, 24 hour a day tv with all the in your face bad news, death, the world is doomed broadcasts. Then after all that. A teacher says hey kids! how would you like me to show you how to make a pipe bomb. I think it's just to much info coming at the kids to quickly anymore. It's difficult for an adult to make sense of it all. Much less a kid that does not have the life experience to filter out the harmful stuff. That's the job of the parents. But alas. they are to busy with work and after hour work projects to bother with something so mundane as kids.
13:53 January 11, 2012 by freechoice
The mother of all Big Bangs funded by taxpayers to the tune of 6 billion pounds! C.E.R.N.
14:30 January 11, 2012 by jg.
Firework or pipe bomb? If you are making fireworks, it may be a good idea to use a metal pipe OPEN AT ONE END to ensure that the blast is in a known direction. A pipe bomb is when both ends of the pipe are sealed.
17:07 January 11, 2012 by ramalama
1st off it was chemistry class where the teacher showed the students how to make BASIC crude gunpowder , used in fireworks and antuque muzzle loading firearms.

this technology is OLD very very OLD and to teach students the BASICS of CHEMISTRY in this way is what is called an ATTENTION getting tool.

once their curiosity is awoken then perhaps they will pursue chemistry further in depth.
19:46 January 11, 2012 by nickhockey09
what was she thinking!!!!!!!!!!!
19:51 January 11, 2012 by UncleScram
Why would they do that? Guess what, chuicken butt! Guess why, chicken thy!...
21:01 January 11, 2012 by zeddriver

The big difference is this. If the teacher had just made a bit of black powder and laid it out loosely then ignited it. Cool!

According to the teacher himself in the article. "I told the parents that I included PIPE BOMB construction for fun." That is way different than torching a bit of black powder.

I wonder what goes on in art or photography class at this school. "To awaken their interest." as you put it. Hey kids! Get naked. Were going to make a movie about body painting.

These are young school age KIDS. Not young adults in collage.
23:10 January 11, 2012 by UncleScram
zeddriver does have a point. A little bit of black powder and ear and eye protection would be okay. You could probably do more if they weren't kids and in a place like a vacant parking lot. Nothing like this should ever happen in an elementrary school with out an okay from the school district, parents/gaurdians, and mabeye some one with a higher rank.
12:27 January 12, 2012 by Gretl
As a person who knew a family that lost two boys who were making pipe bombs, I think it is irresponsible to demonstrate how to make weapons to people whose impulse control has not yet matured. It makes me wonder about the political leanings of the teacher, let alone his judgement.

I saw my chemistry teacher show us the force of a reaction in a lecture hall behind safety glass. He also demonstrated what happened to pure sodium when it reacts to air. All very impressive, but all done safely, and without weaponizing.
17:23 January 12, 2012 by Ruhetag
Do they teach "how do I make a magnetic bomb and attach it to a Iranian nuclear scientist's car" in Isreali classrooms??
08:10 January 14, 2012 by Bill Simpson
He ignited an explosive, not blew up a pipe bomb. If some smart kid becomes a chemist, it would have been a good lesson. If you think about it for a minute, our entire standard of living is based on the use of cheap explosives in mining. Giant diesel electric trucks to haul the ore too.
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