Suspect faces court, stabbed teacher critical

26th January 2004, Comments 0 comments

26 January 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The 35-year-old man arrested for stabbing a teaching instructor in a school in Amsterdam West last week will appear before a judge on Monday while his victim continues to fight for life in the VU hospital.

26 January 2004

AMSTERDAM — The 35-year-old man arrested for stabbing a teaching instructor  in a school in Amsterdam West last week will appear before a judge on Monday while his victim continues to fight for life in the VU hospital.

The man has confessed to the stabbing at the Mgr. Hermusschool in Amsterdam, but the Public Prosecution Office (OM) could not confirm what the motive was for the assault on Sunday. Investigations into the circumstances of the incident continue.

The 59-year-old victim helps train other teachers at the school for pupils with hearing and speaking difficulties. He is in a critical condition and underwent emergency surgery after being stabbed in the upper chest region, an NOS news report said.

"It does not improve and does not worsen. In any case he is still alive and that gives us a spark of hope," regional director of the school association Effatha Guyot Groep, Dirk van der Bijl, said.

The stabbing occurred at about 3pm on Friday in the victim's office. The suspect is a former student of the school, which teaches about 180 students with hearing, speaking and language difficulties aged between 2.5 and 13.

There were no eye witnesses to the incident, but police allege an argument occurred between the two men before the stabbing occurred.

The victim has been identified by his first name Peter. He is known to have been employed at the school for about 20 years, news agency ANP reported. The school has expressed dismay and shock at the stabbing.

The school remained closed to students on Monday, but teachers gathered on the weekend and were meeting again on Monday. "Our first concern now is the teachers. We will care for them first, so that they can then care for the students," Van der Bijl said.

Teachers are receiving guidance and counselling from the Victim Assistance Bureau (Bureau Slachtofferhulp) and students might return to school on Tuesday. 

The stabbing comes after deputy headmaster Hans van Wieren was shot dead by a student at the Terra College school in The Hague on 13 January. The suspect in that case, 17-year-old Murat D., has confessed and remains in custody.

Murat had reportedly threatened other teachers before the shooting occurred. The claim was made in a letter written by murder victim Van Wieren on 5 January to the suspect's parents. He said Murat was temporarily barred from school to "prevent repetition" of the threats.

The shooting sparked heated debate in the Netherlands about school violence, but many education organisations said the killing could not have been prevented, even with intensified security measures.

But Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven has claimed that many school directors have concealed worsening school violence and has promised to unveil a package of measures to improve school safety.

The minister will engage in discussions with schools, parents, students and education organisations over the next three months before devising her school safety plan.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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