SWEDEN. Almost 30 000 lives in the municipality of Gislaved, but even in such a small town there’s worrying trends.

In the school named after the flower cowslip (what an ugly name! It’s gullviva, golden primrose, in Swedish) the children are between the ages of 10 and 12 years old. They are feeling afraid and unsafe because of the conflicts between students and the atmosphere in the school is rough.

Many children are divided into gangs and there is constant fights and arguments where the gangs attack one student. They can play out in the locker room or at the bus stop. If someone express a differing opinion he gets threatened with a beating during the recess or on the way home from school. There are also ruckuses in class which makes it hard for the other children to study. Recently the staff found a large knife at the school and students say that they have been threatened with knives.

The teachers try to stop these things, but the children say that they still feel unsafe. Even the headmaster admits that the school isn’t safe for all students and that they need more staff to handle the situation. They have had theme weeks about basic principles and have started a project together with the police. So typically Swedish! ūüôā

I haven’t seen anything about who these children are, but I do know that 95% of the schools students used to be immigrants. They have made some changes so now 23,3% of the students at the school are born outside of Sweden. 22% of the population in Gislaved are first or second generation of immigrants and the town have taken in many unaccompanied minors. I can’t help but speculate in this way because the behaviours described above isn’t very Swedish, but it’s common in other cultures. All of that honour-, macho- and aggressive behaviour that one sees time and time again.

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