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    Schaerbeek school opened its doors on Monday without incident

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The Schaerbeek school where a 4-year-old girl was thought to have been sexually abused last week, reopened on Monday morning under police surveillance. The French-speaking school had to close its doors for two days last week after rumours of child abuse led to riots at the school gate. On Monday morning, police officers were subtly positioned to monitor the situation.

    “The language barrier might have been the problem,” said a father who was dropping off his son to Bruzz. “Communication between the school and the parents is not always fluent,” he added.

    Most parents confirmed their confidence in the school and have dropped their children off on Monday without any issue, confirmed Schaerbeek mayor Bernard Clerfayt (Défi) to Bruzz. “A few children are absent today,” he said. “The school is doing an excellent job of welcoming the children in the best possible conditions,” he added.

    “All teachers and personnel are present again, but a lot of them were shocked by everything that happened and was undeservedly said about the school,” the mayor said. There will be psychological support for all personnel that wants it. For the pupils, conversations in the class groups will be organised. “The children could have heard some things that could be shocking for them,” he added. He also promises meetings with parents to boost confidence in the school.

    After an investigation by the public prosecutor’s office, it turned out that the 4-year-old girl was not abused after all, but that she had an infection. However, riots started at the school gate last week. The girl’s parents initially did not want to accept the conclusions of the investigation but came around after the riots. The girl will return to school later this week.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times