Vocational school teacher killed just hours after suspected student was expelled from school
A 17-year-old student is said to have stabbed his class teacher in the north of North Rhine-Westphalia. As it became known, he had various conflicts with teachers. A few hours before the bloody crime, a one-day expulsion from school had been imposed on him.
A few candles, flowers and a police ribbon: It’s rainy and gray on Wednesday morning at the school center in Ibbenbüren, north of Münster. Classes at the commercial school have been canceled after a 55-year-old teacher was stabbed to death in a classroom on Tuesday. The alleged perpetrator was one of her students.
A day later, it becomes apparent what could have led to the horrible act: the student had a series of conflicts with his teachers, according to witnesses from the homicide squad. Only a few hours before the crime, the school administration imposed a one-day expulsion from school on him.
Should there be a debate?
Nevertheless, he enters the school grounds in the afternoon and meets his class teacher in a classroom. It is unclear whether the two had agreed to meet there, whether there should be a discussion. The 55-year-old is alone and her student is armed with a knife.
The teacher does not survive the encounter. The youth then dials the emergency number himself and allows himself to be arrested without resistance. The murder weapon is seized. The minor initially did not comment on the fact. He will be assigned a public defender.
He was brought before a magistrate on Wednesday. The public prosecutor’s office will request that he be sent to custody for manslaughter. The authority did not want to announce the result of the autopsy and the result of the demonstration to the magistrate until Thursday.
“Classes have been cancelled, but the school remains open,” says a spokesman for the district government in Münster. This ensures that the students have a point of contact. A crisis intervention team, school psychologists and emergency counselors are on site to advise the school management and teachers on how to proceed.
A larger police force had arrived at the school after the crime on Tuesday. In addition to several patrol cars, a rescue helicopter, an ambulance and an emergency chaplain also arrived. Ibbenbüren is a former mining town, has around 52,000 inhabitants and is located west of Osnabrück and north of Münster on the state border with Lower Saxony in the Steinfurt district.
NRW school minister visits school
“Our heartfelt condolences go to the relatives, colleagues and students. We wish everyone a lot of strength in these difficult hours,” said Ibbenbüren Mayor Marc Schrameyer (SPD). “Our respect and admiration goes to all the emergency services involved, who mastered a very difficult situation with great care.”
NRW School Minister Dorothee Feller (CDU) visited the school and was “deeply affected and shaken” when asked. “We will not leave the school community alone in their grief,” she announced. An emergency team of school psychologists will accompany you in the long term. A minute’s silence for the killed teacher is to be held at the school center at 11 a.m. this Thursday.
Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) reacted with dismay. “The violent death of the teacher is stunned. We must do everything we can to better protect teachers from violence,” she told the news portal “t-online”. It is unacceptable that teachers are regularly insulted, threatened and attacked.
Students are expected to gradually return to school in the coming days. The days are set aside for mourning. A place of mourning will be set up in the school auditorium and a book of condolence will be laid out for the teacher who was killed.
The classroom as a crime scene and the corresponding floor will continue to be closed during the investigation and will not be used for an indefinite period of time. A central funeral service for the killed teacher will take place later.
Similar cases extremely rare
According to initial research by the Ministry of Education, the fact that a student kills a teacher is an unprecedented event for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Similar cases are known from Bavaria (2000) and Saxony (1999). Four years ago, a murder plot against a teacher was uncovered in North Rhine-Westphalia. The students who were later convicted for this had not put their plan into practice.
Meanwhile, classes continue at the neighboring vocational college. “That shook me deeply. You only know something like that from big cities,” says student Lukas on the edge of the school grounds. He found out about the crime on Tuesday evening on his smartphone and on television after his girlfriend pointed it out to him. It is an oppressive feeling, but: “Everyday life must go on”.