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Dear NMS-Community, dear Students, Parents and Team Members,

A week has passed after we were all shocked and upset by the case of sexual abuse that happened in the midst of our community. Feelings of pain, fear, anger and helplessness have moved many of us. As it appears, the community will have to work together in the process of digesting what happened and in the attempt to return to our normal daily lives before long.

It seems to me that our approach of openly confronting the facts and keeping communication lines to the serious press open has helped to keep the media coverage to be focused on the facts, for the most part. Those journalists we had a chance to talk to have done their part by acting carefully and by refraining from student contact and photos.

At the school, the administration and faculty has been working on the setting up of support structures for the students directly concerned as well as for the entire student body. Teams of psychologists and experts have been at the school to talk to teachers and students and professionals from the KIZ (Kind im Zentrum – an agency as part of the Jugendamt) have been immensely helpful, both for our students as well as our staff. They will continue to work with us over the coming weeks.

It is in moments of crisis that a community has to pull together and prove its cohesive powers. As far as I can see after not even three weeks at the NMS, our community has acted very responsibly. In our several assemblies and personal conversations with students, I experienced a compassionate and sensitive reaction from almost all of them. The teams of teachers and educators were present at every meeting and signaled their readiness to talk with and support all students – individually and in groups. Classroom teachers have raised the tropic in their classrooms to provide safe platforms of communication.

To conclude, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all students, parents and the NMS team for their input and support in recent days. I am also grateful to our superintendent, Herr Kuhring, the Senatsverwaltung and the various agencies of the Jugendamt for their immediate assistance and guidance.

Together with them, we will continue our efforts of digesting and processing this unsettling situation. Thank you again.

Christian Nitschke
Head of School
19 August 2013

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16.01.2018 Nelson-Mandela-Schule · Staatliche Internationale Schule Berlin | Nelson Mandela School · State International School Berlin