Teacher stabbed to death by 16-year-old student in Svitavy

02-03-2004

A vocational school in the East Bohemian town of Svitavy is in mourning today after a 60-year-old teacher was stabbed to death by one of his students. The attack took place in the middle of a lesson, and was apparently unprovoked. The 16-year-old student has been taken into custody, and faces a prison sentence for murder. Rob Cameron has more on this shocking story.

The school where student attacked the teacher, photo: CTKThe school where student attacked the teacher, photo: CTK Sixty-year-old Bohuslav Sibl, described as a strict but well-respected and talented teacher, died after being stabbed four times by his student, who cannot be named for legal reasons. The attack took place after Mr Sibl asked the boy to change seats. Enraged, he turned on his teacher and started beating him as the rest of the class looked on. Then he drew a knife and stabbed him before kicking him as he lay dying. An ambulance was called, but Mr Sibl was dead on arrival in hospital.

Bohuslav Sibl, photo: CTKBohuslav Sibl, photo: CTK The boy is described as a quiet and well-behaved student, something of a loner who spent most of his spare time at the computer. He started attending the vocational school after bad marks forced him to leave grammar school. He is now in custody charged with murder, and faces five or possibly ten years in prison if the court decides on an exemplary punishment.

Monday's attack was the first of its kind in the Czech Republic, and students, teachers and also politicians have all expressed their shock at what happened in Svitavy. Experts say aggression among schoolchildren is rising, though they point out it is rare for children to attack an adult, normally choosing to take out their frustration on their peers.

Whether Monday's attack will lead to any concrete measures to increase security in schools remains to be seen. Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla told reporters it was necessary to investigate to what extent the attack was an isolated incident. Education Minister Petra Buzkova meanwhile said no amount of security could have prevented such an attack, describing it as a horrific, but isolated tragedy.

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