Lundsbergs school, Lundsbergs Skola, motto, Mens sana in corpore sano, is a Swedish boarding school located north of Kristinehamn in Värmland, Sweden. Lundsberg was founded in 1896 with inspirations from classical English boarding schools, and has approximately 200 students today. The school is run by the Lundsbergs school Foundation, Stiftelsen Lundsbergs skola, and is well known for its conservative atmosphere.
The school is one of the three elite boarding schools in Sweden. Annual tuition is about £20,000. The cost is subsidized by the state but augmented by parents. The school consists of six dormitories, of which three are boys' dormitories (Forest Hill, Björke and Gransäter), two are girls' dormitories (Herrgården and Klätten), and one is a mixed dormitory (Skogshult).
On 28 August 2013, the Swedish School Inspectorate Agency, Skolinspektionen, closed the school after recurring problems concerning abuse and bullying. The closure applies for at least six months. In the evening of 28 August 2013, the boarding school announced that headmaster Staffan Hörnberg had been dismissed and that the governing board has offered their resignations. The specific allegations were of older boys burning younger boys with hot irons during an initiation ritual. When one was taken to a hospital for treatment police were informed and the schools inspectorate notified. The schools inspectorate's recommendation to discontinue continued funding of the school by the government was reported to be under review. The schools inspectorate completed a lengthy investigation of bullying at the school in April 2013, but, after threatening a fine of half a million dollars, a decision was made to continue to allow the school to operate based on its apparent success in overcoming bullying. The decision to close the school was due to the threat of imminent danger to students. Students were required to leave, but special arrangements had to be made for the 17 students whose parents were out of the country.
Public allegations of bullying emerged in 2011 with a spate of anonymous calls to media and to the schools inspectorate. An investigation by The Guardian revealed evidence of a long standing pattern of bullying. Petter Sandgren, a researcher at the European University Institute in Florence advanced a theory that the children of new entrants to Sweden's elite, nouveau riches, had broken ranks with the old boy network which had previously suppressed reports of abuse. According to an elderly woman who had worked in the kitchens in the school in the 1950s:
It's like time has stood still since I worked there – there is exactly the same spirit now as it was then, the school still lets the older pupils harass the younger ones and be cruel to them.
I am so relieved that eyes have been opened and people see it for what it is. I never saw class society revealed so obviously as at Lundsberg – and it is still the same, like Upstairs Downstairs
Famous Alumni include:
- Prince Bertil of Sweden
- Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden
- Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
- Count Michael Bernadotte of Sweden (Bernadotte was one of Napoleon's generals who was invited by Sweden to become their king)
- Organization. (html) Website. Lundsbergs skola. URL accessed on August 29, 2013.
- David Crouch. "Swedish boarding school shut down after bullying claims: Inspectors announce immediate closure of elite Lundsberg school, likened by one pupil to Lord of the Flies", August 29, 2013. Retrieved on August 29, 2013.
- Skolinspektionen stänger Lundsberg (Göteborgs-Posten)
- Head Master Staffan Törnberg is dismissed
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