Boarding schools are dangerous
The aftermath of the boating accident where 13 students and 2 teachers paddled out on a bay covered with small ice floes only to capsize is not over.
The accident did cost the life of a teacher. A teacher living his life as member of the special forces. A teacher where former students praised his good spirit but also write that he hasn’t killed a student yet. A teacher involved in a previous incident where none lost their life dispite a close call under some kind of a wilderness expedition.
I just have to ask: Where is the management? They could have set up guidelines, so the students would have been issued survival suits. Now they only had light life jacket on. Normal people would have been dead within 30 minutes, but it was the sports team, so enough of the students reached the shore where they could alarm the authorities. 5 or 6 students ended up in coma and all but one who have feber have recovered to some extend. They have a long road ahead of them before they will attend any school again.
Some might ask: Where are the parents? Why do they allow their children into such a dangerous situation?
I have to say: The school does very much control the communication the first months where cell phones are not allowed on the school until the students buy into the program or the community formed at the school. It is a community which are not in compliance with the surrounding society. The students are forced to give up some part of their personality in order to fit into the family like teams formed by some 5-10 students sharing the same small dorm. When people live that close, one person cannot stick out. Otherwise the entire school will loose performance.
Once the year is over and the students return home, even without the accident they would have a long road ahead of them trying to adjust to their own family and without having people around them every single day.
After the first month in such a place the students spirit is broken and for many of them they don’t know it because reality the Danish boarding schools use a kind of slowpaced version of a Landmark large group awareness training session. The teachers turn them into good citizens based on values only applicable inside the school. They sing together. They yell together. They help each other every morning to leave their bed and start a 5K run before breakfast and they learn how to take an order from the teacher without asking why.
So it was 13 willingly and motivated students who sailed out into the bay to break a record made by other student just as motivated, who had been out in the icy bay without problems.
But this time the boat went down and what was a question of breaking a record became a question of life and dead.
The management of the school blames the dead teacher stating that it was his judgment alone which did count.
The assocation of boarding schools are trying to improve the guideline before the law is toughend. I hope that they don’t succeed to fool our politicians. Fact is that there have been other boarding schools who had incidents. Some place south of Fyen a young man downed when he was out on sea with his school.
Parents. Please watch out when you send your children to boarding schools. As long as the law is not existing, you cannot entrust your most valuable item in your life - your children to such people.
Demand that your child have access to a cell phone from the very first day attending a boarding school. It could very well be the lifesaver, which prevent your child from being caught too much up with the school.
Parents: Your children are counting on you. They are not adults yet.
Hvad lavede de på havet en kold vinterdag (In Danish)
Danish Dragon boat capsized by wave (Politiken)