Hague school honours murdered teacher
13 January 2005
AMSTERDAM — Staff and pupils of a school in The Hague held a remembrance service at midday on Thursday, the first anniversary of the murder of deputy headmaster Hans van Wieren.
The service at VMBO Zuid-West, formerly known as Terra College, was not open to the press or the public and the school’s management has declined to comment.
“Some time ago the school decided to institute a different policy towards the press — a policy of total radio silence. Reports in the media only lead to a more difficult situation. We no longer want to look to the past but to the future,” school director Karel Brun told news agency Novum.
The killing was the first murder of a teacher in a Dutch school. The negative publicity about the event led to a drop in the number of new pupils enrolling in the school.
Van Wieren, 49, was shot in the head in front of hundreds of students in the school’s canteen on 13 January. He died later that night in hospital.
His killer, then 16-year-old Murat D., said he had only meant to wound Van Wieren, telling his trial in April 2004 that Van Wieren planned to exclude him from school. D. said he did not want his mother to suffer the shame of his expulsion and he also wanted time to finish his exams.
He reasoned that he would have had time to complete his studies if Van Wieren was off work for three months after being shot and injured.
The boy’s defence team argued that Van Wieren moved as the shot was fired, resulting in the bullet hitting him in the head. D.’s lawyers asked the court to deal with him under the law for juveniles.
The court rejected this and sentenced him to five years jail followed by compulsory psychiatric TBS treatment in a secure hospital. Earlier this month, it was reported D. plans to appeal against the court’s decision in the Supreme Court.
[Copyright Novum Nieuws 2005]
Subject: Dutch news