Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Update on a previous post from February

In February we warned parents against sending their children on trips to the Czech Republic. They had very little understanding of our advanced and superior culture.

Now it went wrong again because people did ignore our warning. Due to verbal misunderstandings negotiations in a shop turned out to be a robbery in the mindset of the local police. Several websites warn against doing such a normal thing like taking a cab to a destination. Interaction with local cab drivers should be avoided. When taking the experiences the two Danish boys had, all interaction with the local people should be avoided.

It was not only the two students who were arrested. Also a third boy who witnesses a police action looking like something from the times before the wall fell protested the violent nature of the arrest so he was arrested too. With help from our Embassy he was able to escape this country without charges.

The two boys were released on bail and were able to return to Denmark. Back home their chance of an education is now lost. Not only do they have to fight the rest of their life with post traumatic stress disorder as result of the arrest. The school had no other choice but to expel them based on their confession obtained under indescribable conditions in Prague.

The school is under pressure in this matter. The Danish public is still in shock over a recent death in Los Angeles and the beer case in Berlin. Never before has the concept of sending students on trips abroad been under such a pressure. According to the website Exchange Student Information the death in California was a direct result of a failed policy on alcohol where students have to be bussed around the town in order to socialize.

It is time for parents to stand up and demand a total stop for letting minors participate in trips abroad arranged by schools. One family has already lost their son abroad. We don't need more of these tragedies.

Elever begik væbnet røveri på studietur (Nordjyske Tidende, November 8, 2010)
Uddannelseschef: En rigtig træls sag (Nordjyske Tidende, November 8, 2010)
Er Prag Sikker? Word Escape
Update on the tragedy in California (Exchange Student Info, November 1, 2010)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Parents - prevent your children from traveling with the school

A shocked Denmark woke this morning with the news that two Danish pupils were sent home unaccompanied by adults from Berlin. It was supposed to be their punishment for drink alcohol on the school trip.

Almost the entire parent generation has been on school trips in the 1970's or 1980's. At that time it was normal for teenagers aged 16 as the two students form Hilleroed to drink alcohol. Former students from several business schools have been visiting Berlin before the wall fell and alcohol was used in a responsible matter regardless of the fact that they were only 15 to 17 years old. Some students might also remember the Ferry sailing between Nysted on Lolland and Burg in Germany. While the students did not spent that much time in Germany they did get some alcohol to drink.

However times are different. Trips abroad have to be planned with the fact in mind that Danish schools are used by minorities, who have strange customs which forbid the pleasure of alcohol. There must be consequences even when we are talking double standards.

The interesting fact was there was a possibility to send the two teenagers with a direct bus without stop the very next morning. That option was however not used.

Instead the principal insisted that the two students should leave at once for the train station where they without adult escorts should travel first to Hamburg and from there to Copenhagen. Due to lack of trains the teenagers spent an entire night and day in Hamburg and had to sleep in subzero temperatures on the platforms. It is very harsh conditions without sleeping-bags. They were exposed of the risk of assaults at the empty trainstations. It is neglect. It is close to abuse. What kind of headlines would have been on the newspapers if they had been robbed while sleeping out in the open or frozen to death?

Only pure luck made them reach Denmark alive. The teachers who were following the teenagers on the trip protested this decision and due to their protests over a decision made by a superior they are now risking to be fired from their job.

All the students in the town of Hilleroed have left their school and they are now protesting the decision both to send the teenagers home by train and the decision to fire the teachers.

As parents it leaves place for only one decision.


Germany have little to offer if you cannot enjoy food and drinking. It leaves our students to isolated that they could learn the same by using the Internet.

I urge the students to remain firm and demand an apology or drop out. Once you start working in firms, you will be allowed to drink alcohol regardless of your age. It promotes team-working and the general productivity. No education in the world is worth risking your health by participating in ill-planned trips abroad.

Smidt hjem: Elever måtte sove ude i frostvejr (Avisen, November 2, 2010 - In Danish)
Elever alene med tog i 22 timer (Ekstra Bladet, November 2, 2010 - In Danish)