Update at 4:20 pm on the reopening of the affected schools:
Don Bosco High School wrote on the school’s website that the school will also be closed for classes on Friday (May 13). The school administration decided after careful consideration, it says there. Teachers should work through what happened peacefully and, above all, prepare important things, such as Monday’s oral Abitur exams.
The high school in Purbeck Castle will open its doors “normally” on Friday. There, students can talk about the accident in their classes and find their way back to class gently, according to the school on Radio Essen-Demand.
Essen police cordoned off two schools in Purbeck
Major police operations were carried out at two schools in Essen on Thursday (12 May). Police said the Don Bosco High School and High School in Purbeck Castle were damaged. There is a suspicion that a 16-year-old German student wants to commit crimes in both schools. They say investigations are currently in full swing.
Police operation in Essen: what has been confirmed so far
Police have now confirmed that the SEK team broke into and searched an apartment near the Borbeck Gymnasium early in the morning at around 4:20 a.m. There lives a 16-year-old student, who went first to the Realschule am Schloss Borbeck and then to the Don Bosco-Gymnasium. Several pipe bombs with a timer, a flechette grenade, several crossbows, a homemade weapon and explosives were found in the apartment. The 16-year-old apparently plotted a murder. This was also confirmed by NRW Home Secretary Herbert Rolle at noon at a government press conference. To what extent these weapons really worked, it remains to be examined in detail. Essen police also confirmed that the boy was temporarily detained in his room and is being questioned. The boy’s parents were also present in the apartment, it is said.
According to Interior Minister Raoul, the alleged perpetrator may have a far-right motive. During the searches, it was said that a manifesto with xenophobic ideas and SS runes was found. At the same time, these documents can be viewed as a young man’s call for help, Roel says, because the 16-year-old is said to have severe mental health problems and suicidal thoughts.
At the press conference on Thursday afternoon, Roel also said that a nightmare in Essen may have been prevented today and thanked the informant who informed the police, schools and Essen police of the swift action. The alleged perpetrator apparently told the whistleblower that he wanted to place bombs in schools, Roel said.
Both schools remained closed on Thursday. Among other things, ten sniffer dogs have been searching for stored bombs or weapons, and about 123 police officers are also working on the case. Police spokesman Christoph Wickhurst told Radio Essen at noon that the first search did not reveal any anomalies in the schools and nothing has been found so far. In the back, there was a second look to be on the safe side. This ended shortly after 2pm and nothing was found. The Dusseldorf Public Prosecutor’s Office is now investigating the preparation of a serious, state-threatening act of violence against the 16-year-old.
The Minister of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia, Herbert Ruhl, spoke at a press conference about the incident here in Purbeck. You can hear her full recording here.
Director of the Don Bosco Gymnasium in Essen
The Essen Radio reporter was able to speak to the manager of the Don Bosco gymnasium in the morning. He says:
Currently no one is allowed on the premises, but the secretariat is manned, and the school administration is also on site. There are many calls, some from official bodies, but also from many parents. The notice posted on the homepage early then that school was canceled today (May 12). Some parents considered this a scam and thought the school website had been hacked hence a lot of extra calls. He tries to answer everything, it is important to keep in touch with everyone. So it is also good that Radio Essen reports.
Whether there will actually be a regular school again tomorrow has yet to be decided. Students now have bad images in their heads, and many are afraid. It remains to be determined whether this will be picked up at school tomorrow or if classes will start again next week. It is not yet clear when the police will release the building and land again. (Status: 12.05.10.30 a.m.)
And the principal of the school was not surprised by the news on Thursday morning, but on the contrary: the school itself reported the suspicion to the police on Wednesday evening after receiving indications of a planned crime. He did not answer whether these tips were issued by the student body.
Responses from the mother board
Many parents only received an SMS in the morning. This caused a lot of confusion and many calls to each other and to Don Bosco High School. Then another letter announced the closure of the school. Tania Malakar is a member of the Parents Council at Grammar School and has two children at the school. They feel nauseous about going back to school. You do not know the alleged perpetrator personally, but the shock is deep. In an interview with Radio Essen-Spätschicht, Tanja Mlakar hopes the incident will be addressed to the students and further doubts will be cleared.
Help from Essen and school psychology
In an interview with Radio Essen, the head of social services in Essen, Susan Schreinert, and school psychologist Hubertina Falkenhagen from the Essen School Counseling Service explained how they progress in such a situation and what they can do to help those affected.