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Parents patrol school after sex attack in toilet

The Local · 29 Mar 2012, 12:22

Published: 29 Mar 2012 11:01 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Mar 2012 12:22 GMT+02:00

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Further security measures are in place at the Humboldthain primary school in the Wedding district of Berlin, local paper Der Tagesspiegel reported. Anyone entering the school has to press a buzzer and be allowed in by staff.

The man entered the girls’ toilets in the school at 10am on March 1, bolted the door, undressed an eight-year-old girl who had left her lesson to use the toilet, and sexually abused her.

Teachers quickly realised something was wrong and scared the man away, but he escaped without anyone getting a clear look at him.

Parents and pupils were told about the attack later that day by the police, who urged them not to allow their children to come to school alone. The police decided not to inform the public until Wednesday for strategic reasons.

Mums and dads of the 400 pupils at the school quickly organised round-the-clock surveillance, and city education authorities confirmed that security measures would be improved over the Easter holidays, funded by the district council.

“Money is not important in a case like this,” said District Mayor Christian Hanke, adding that new locks were an “investment in violence prevention.”

Reactions amongst their parents have been mixed, according to the Tagesspiegel.

“Ideally I would remove my child from the school,” one parent told the newspaper.

Others expressed approval of how the school has handled the attack, and the speed with which they were told about it.

Police are searching for a man around 30 years old, with dark blonde or brown hair who was wearing blue jeans and a grey sweater at the time of the incident.

Story continues below…

The girl is receiving care from child therapists.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:49 March 29, 2012 by boopsie
This kind of incident is outrageous and underlines how very unprotected our kids are in schools here in germany. The government should be penalized in the voting booth for failing to spend the money it takes to provide our children with adequate protection while they are in school.
14:40 March 29, 2012 by gremar
@boopsie: that is true, but decisions for better protection and surveillance often suffer under the German mentality of discussing every thing to the bone. Sometime affirmative action is needed, like the reaction of Mr. Hanke. Where I live and my kids go to school, I have mentioned, to the school board, that strangers could enter the school during class hours and no one would care, and nothing has come of it.

Me being distinctly "non-German" as I like to say, is quickly observed and monitored upon entering and leaving the premises. However, others are totally ignored. This type of thinking is naive and foolish. Sadly, this is the way many(not all) think. Maybe, due to this incident, they'd wise up and take the necessary precautions.
16:23 March 29, 2012 by boopsie

You are being profiled at the school as a "stranger" which is at least a step in the right direction but its obvious that dangerous people can be anyone and more general measures taken as well. Unfortunately it will probably take a few more incidents before the requisite pressure is brought to bear to make school authorities react.
22:53 July 27, 2012 by Ozichick
In Australia, primary school children are not permitted to go to the toilet on their own during classes. The teacher will always send three children together. Teaching staff are also timetabled to patrol the playground during recess and lunch. No adult is permitted to enter a school without reporting to the main office first where they give their particulars and are given a visitor's tag that must be returned when you leave. These precautions, albeit not so stringent, also apply to secondary schools.
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