German principal accused of ordering students to strip naked

Prosecutors in Kleve, near Düsseldorf, are investigating why the principal at Kamp-Lintfort high school apparently instructed the students from the Europa School to take all of their clothes off.

The principal reportedly said the students were brought to his attention by a teacher on suspicion of theft, but he has not yet been questioned by investigators, according to The Local.

One of the students involved told WDR that the principal asked if they had stolen anything, which they denied and showed him their bags.

He is then said to have threatened to call the police if the boys did not take their clothes off, according to the student’s account. The students stripped to their underwear, but say the principal told them to strip completely naked.

Other pupils entered the office while the boys were stripping, adding to their “embarrassment and humiliation”, he recounted.

The boys’ parents made a legal complaint at the time of the incident a few weeks ago, but it was initially not considered worth investigating and rejected by the prosecutor.

It was only re-opened on Wednesday after the parents’ lawyer Jochen Gutermuth lodged a complaint with the Attorney General’s office in Düsseldorf. Gutermuth told the Rheinische Post that “the mere accusation of theft was completely out of thin air”.

“There was absolutely no reason,” he added. “Nobody had anything missing.”

Local education officials said they would not comment on an ongoing criminal investigation.

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