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Inspectorate investigates school that may have forced students out | NOW

The Education Inspectorate is investigating whether action should be taken against the reformational school Gomarus in Gorinchem. The school is said to have forced gay students to come out. Education minister Arie Slob reports this.

The minister responds to a recent article in NRC, in which former students of the Gomarus school in Gorinchem tell that this has happened to them. He calls the course of events described in the piece “absolutely unacceptable”.

“The inspectorate has informed me that it regards the stories in the article as a worrying signal and is taking this very seriously,” said Slob. The board of the school is called to account for this and the inspectorate examines “which actions are necessary from its supervision”.

Slob finds the stories of the young people “extremely painful” and calls it “extremely brave” that they dared to tell them. “That couldn’t have been easy”. The minister emphasizes that every student must be able to feel safe at school.

“This means, among other things, that no school in the Netherlands may condemn or reject students on the basis of their sexual identity,” says Slob. “Not in an identity statement, not in their admission policy and not in their school culture.”

The Lower House reacts with bewilderment

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The House of Representatives has also reacted with bewilderment to the story. D66 Member of Parliament Rob Jetten feels “sad, angry and combative” after reading it. He thinks it is “brave and important” that the young people wanted to tell their story. “This really gives me shivers”, says VVD member Dilan Yesilgöz-Zegerius.

“Shocking and sad stories,” tweeted PvdA leader Lilianne Ploumen. “The freedom of young people to be who you want to be must come first, not freedom of religion from orthodox school management.”

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