News | 20 September 2023

The school as a crime scene

There is a need for a political paradigm shift in order to get organised crime out of schools, said Damian Brunker, principal at Internationella Engelska Skolan in Eskilstuna at a seminar hosted by Friskolornas Riksförbund, about the new book Brottsplats: skolan, written by freelance journalist Vesna Prekopic.


Today Damian Brunker, principal at IES Eskilstuna, participated in a seminar at Friskolornas Riksförbund, along with freelance journalist Vesna Prekopic, about her new book. Brottsplats: Skolan. The topic for the book and the seminar was the criminality and aggravated violence that have become parts of everyday life in many schools in Sweden.

“We have been successful in Eskilstuna, despite the challenging area”, Mr Brunker said. ”95 percent of our students qualify for the upper secondary school. It’s thanks to our fantastic staff and all their hard work. But it has come with a high price”, said Mr Brunker.

To be able to fight the criminality in schools, there is a need for a political paradigm shift, Mr Brunker continued. The school cannot continue being an ideological battlefield. Instead we need reforms that all parties from left to right can stand behind. As examples, Mr Brunker mentioned a new curriculum with a focus on knowledge, a better grading system, emergency schools where students can be sent so that it is possible to remove the students who disturb their classmates, as well as better laws to provide tools for the police and other authorities to fight organised crime.

“Teachers and school leaders must have better conditions to deal with the problems. I wish that no teacher or school leader would have to experience what Vesna and some of my staff have experienced”, Mr Brunker said.

Also participating at the seminar was Elisabeth Nordén from Brottsförebyggande Rådet (BRÅ), as well as Mattias Hammar, head of security at AcadeMedia, a former policeman. The seminar ended with a panel discussion with politicians Josefin Malmqvist (M) and Linus Sköld (S), who both sit on the Education Committee, as well as Erik Scheller, State Secretary of the Department of Education.

See the seminar here (in Swedish):