‘No discrimination’ of Muslim teacher

Norway’s state anti-discrimination board has ruled that an Oslo school did not discriminate against a Muslim man when it refused to renew his substitute teaching contract. He had refused to shake hands with female colleagues or parents, but the board ruled that his refusal in turn threatened gender equality. “If we are to make conservative […]

More heads may roll in the Oslo schools

Terje Moen, deputy leader of the Norwegian labour organization representing school employees, thinks more top city employees in charge of education in Oslo should consider resigning. Those who worked closely with outgoing schools director Astrid Søgnen, who was forced to resign this week, are at the top of Moen’s list. He argues that the conflict […]

Boycott threatened youths’ fundraiser

Thousands of Norwegian junior high- and high school students were taking part once again on Thursday in the annual fundraiser called Operasjon Dagsverk (OD), billed as Norway’s largest solidarity event. It was clouded, however, by calls for a boycott from pro-Israeli groups that object mightily to this year’s OD beneficiary: The international YMCA/YWCA campaign for […]

Oslo schools caught in power struggle

An unusually nasty power struggle over control of Norway’s largest school district now threatens to topple Oslo’s entire city government. The struggle pits longtime Oslo school administrators against their new political leader Inga Marte Thorkildsen, leaving her boss, city government leader Raymond Johansen, to resolve the conflict or face a lack of confidence vote himself. […]

‘Russ’ culture taken over by business

Horror stories about Norwegian high school seniors called “russ” going amok in southern climes this summer have been dominating local media. Calls are now going out for their schools to take control of Norway’s rowdy russ culture, and out of the hands of commercial business interests. “It’s very easy to sell to this group of […]

Muslim teacher claims discrimination

A Muslim man who lost his job as a substitute teacher at an Oslo elementary school has filed a discrimination complaint with state authorities. He claims his contract wasn’t renewed on religious grounds, because of his refusal to greet women with a handshake. “Folks think that’s because I look down on women,” the man, who’s […]

Unrest plagues schools in Oslo

The looming summer holidays probably can’t come soon enough for teachers and city officials in the Oslo school system. After months of conflicts over unruly students, frustrated teachers, complaints over their alleged lack of freedom of expression and scathing criticism of the schools’ top administrator, the city goverment official in charge of it all is […]

Schools struggle with lack of discipline

A new report from public education officials in Oslo reveals that even elementary schools are now faced with unruly students as young as six who “beat, kick, bite and vandalize classrooms.” Incidents of violence and threats have increased greatly in recent years. Part of the increase is linked to more teachers reporting more trouble in […]

Government pares back niqab ban

After months of negotiations, Norway’s conservative government coalition presented compromise restrictions on face-covering garments on Friday. A ban will apply only inside day care centers and the classrooms of educational institutions. Education Minister Jan Tore Sanner said the national ban will make the rules “more equal and clearer” for the “few who use a burka […]

Officials crack down on school violence

Three government ministers, top politicians from the City of Oslo and the Norwegian capital’s chief of police were among those sitting down for a meeting in Oslo on Wednesday to tackle the rising problem of violence in local schools. They settled on stronger reaction and punishments, including swifter expulsions. Those causing the most trouble in […]