A Catholic secondary school in France has caused outrage by expelling a teenage girl who was allegedly raped during a school trip to Berlin.
The school said the girl had broken a strict curfew and had been drinking on the night.
The 15-year-old girl was on a class trip to Berlin on May 28th when she left her hostel room after 10pm with a friend in order to meet up with a group of young Polish men who were staying on the same floor of their youth hostel.
The girls then returned to the room with the men to drink vodka. It is then alleged that at least one of the girls was orally raped.
The teenagers reported the traumatic attack to their teachers two days later, at which point the school filed a complaint with local police, who are still investigating the claims.
However, on returning to Notre-Dame de la Providence, a private Catholic school in Thionville, in the Moselle department of north-eastern France, the girls were shocked to be hauled in front of a disciplinary meeting, before being excluded.
The parents of one of the girls slammed the school's decision.
“Our daughter should be punished, but not like that. What did the school]do on their part to prevent something like this? We entrusted our children to them,” they said.
The lawyer for the 15-year-old pupil said that "the school has shown no sympathy for the girl".
He is convinced that authorities at the school blame the girls themselves for what happened, seeing it as an aggravating factor in their punishment, rather than a point of sympathy.
“This is a sanction that is incomprehensible and disproportionate in light of what happened.“If there had been no assault, I’m not sure that these students, who went out past 10pm, would have been subjected to a disciplinary hearing.
“Not only are they being told that what happened to them was their fault, but they’re also receiving a very heavy punishment,” he told local media.
The headteacher of the school, Françoise Lallier, had refused to meet with the girl’s parents, and school authorities were not returning their calls, using the summer holidays as an excuse for not being contactable.