School shooting ‘likely’ in Sweden: agency

There will likely be a school shooting in Sweden sometime in the foreseeable future, according to the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap, MSB), which warned that local authorities are woefully unprepared to deal with such an event.

School shooting 'likely' in Sweden: agency

“Many people have access to hunting weapons, even if you can’t go to just any store and buy a gun, access to them is nevertheless pretty wide,” MSB risk analyst Magnus Winehal told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

In a report looking at Sweden’s capacity to deal with a number of possible disasters and unforeseen events, MSB concluded that there is a “high probability” of a school shooting in Sweden.

According to the agency, a school shooting is more likely than a hydropower dam bursting or a major fire on a passenger ferry.

While the agency explained that police, emergency services, and the healthcare system could likely cope with a school shooting, a massacre at a Swedish school would overwhelm local authorities.

“There would likely be too much pressure when so many students and relatives need crisis counselling,” said Winehal.

Neighbouring Finland has been shaken by school shootings and a number of threats of school shootings have cropped up in Sweden in recent years.

However, Sweden hasn’t experienced a school shooting since 1961 when a 17-year-old boy entered gym during a dance at a school in Kungälv in western Sweden and opened fire.

Seven students were wounded in the shooting, and one later died from his injuries.

Last week, guns were found on the roof of a school in Malmö, prompting administrators to order students to stay home for the day.

An investigation revealed the weapons were legally purchased, but had been stolen from the owner several years ago.

Police have classified the incident as a suspected case of preparing to commit murder, allowing them broader investigative powers.

While they have few clues as to who may have placed the weapons at the school, police say one scenario they are investigating is that the guns were meant to be used in a school shooting.

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Bavaria plans 100 million rapid Covid tests to allow all pupils to return to school

In the southern state of Bavaria, schools have been promised 100 million self-tests starting next week so that more children can start being taught in person again. But teachers say the test strategy isn't being implemented properly.

Bavaria plans 100 million rapid Covid tests to allow all pupils to return to school
Children in the classroom in Bavaria. Photo:Matthias Balk/DPA

State leaders Markus Söder said on Friday that the first 11 million of the DIY tests had already arrived and would now be distributed through the state.

“It’s no good in the long run if the testing for the school is outside the school,” Söder told broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) during a visit to a school in Nuremberg.

“Contrary to what has been planned in Berlin, we’ve pre-ordered in Bavaria: for this year we have 100 million tests.”

Bavaria, Germany’s largest state in terms of size, plans to bring all children back into schools starting on Monday.

SEE ALSO: ‘The right thing to do’ – How Germany is reopening its schools

However, high coronavirus case rates mean that these plans have had to be shelved in several regions.

In Nuremberg, the state’s second largest city, primary school children have been sent back into distance learning after just a week back in the classroom.

The city announced on Friday that schools would have to close again after the 7-day incidence rose above 100 per 100,000 inhabitants.

The nearby city of Fürth closed its schools after just two days of classroom time on Wednesday, after the 7-day incidence rose to 135.

The Bavarian test strategy plans for school children to receive one test per week, while teachers have the possibility of taking two tests a week. The testing is not compulsory.

But teachers’ unions in the southern state have warned that the test capacity only exists on paper and have expressed concern that their members will become infected in the workplace.

“Our teachers are afraid of infection,” Almut Wahl, headmistress of a secondary school in Munich, told BR24.

“Officially they are allowed to be tested twice a week, we have already received a letter about this. But the tests are not there.”

BR24 reports that, contrary to promises made by the state government, teachers in many schools have still not been vaccinated, ventilation systems have not been installed in classrooms, and the test infrastructure has not been put in place.