School honours murdered teacher
16 January 2004
AMSTERDAM — A closed circle of students and teachers gathered at the Terra College in The Hague on Friday to commemorate the death of school teacher Hans van Wieren, who was allegedly shot and killed by a student earlier this week.
And despite a gathering of unruly students in front of the school on Thursday morning chanting their support for 17-year-old suspect Murat D. and concerns that they would disrupt the remembrance ceremony, there were no reports of a repeat disturbance.
This was perhaps partly due to a friend of the suspect’s family, who made an appeal on television programme Rondom Tien on Thursday night to Murat’s friends to refrain from using protest banners to express their support for him during the service, an NOS news report said.
His appeal came after police were called to the school on Thursday to take action against several dozen students, who later warned they intended to take photos of Murat to Friday’s remembrance ceremony.
The ceremony at the Terra College — where 49-year-old economics teacher Van Wieren was shot in the head on Tuesday — was scheduled took place between 10am and midday. Staff of Slachtofferhulp (Victim Assistance) also attended the service.
Flip Huisman, the leader of the Democrat D66 party in Zoetermeer — where Van Wieren was also a local council member — addressed the ceremony on behalf of the victim’s family. He said the family were too emotional to attend the service, but were extremely honoured that it had been organised.
Elsewhere in the country, schools held a minute’s silence at 11am at the request of education unions and employer associations, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
Van Wieren died in hospital at about 10pm on Tuesday, about an hour after the suspect surrendered to police. The alleged murder weapon was later found in bushes near the school.
The deceased deputy director will be cremated on Monday in Rijswijk. His family has announced the funeral will start at 10.30am and conclude at 11.45pm. The service is open for all members of the public. “Hans would have wanted it that way,” his brother-in-law B. Toet said.
The family expects the funeral will attract a large crowd, but will not permit media cameras into the crematorium. Toet said he hoped the media would respect this wish.
The public can also pay their last respects in the Monuta Ogier funeral centre in Zoetermeer on Saturday, while teachers will hold a special ceremony in the Statenhal of the Nederlands Congres Centrum in The Hague on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Amsterdam police arrested on Thursday night a 16-year-old female student for allegedly threatening to kill a teacher. The threat was allegedly made on a website created for the public to offer their condolences or express their opinion about Van Wieren’s death.
The girl claimed that she had the same problem with a teacher that Murat allegedly had with Van Wieren. She allegedly wrote that one day she will also shoot and kill the teacher.
The website’s editors raised the alarm with an Amsterdam West school, where the 16-tear-old student attends and the school contacted police. The girl was arrested at about 10.15pm in her Amsterdam home.
The arrest comes after initial reports that Van Wieren had suspended Murat for misconduct, but that was later officially denied. Instead, the student was scheduled to attend a disciplinary meeting at the school on Thursday.
Students have talked of regular confrontations between the deceased and the arrested suspect for ongoing bad behaviour. On the day of the murder, the suspect was also allegedly high on “ecstasy”. He has allegedly expressed regret for the killing.
Suspect Murat D. was scheduled to appear in court on Friday afternoon, where his remand detention is likely to be extended by an extra 10 days.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + school shooting