Events: Many in the school are speaking about a case that came to light last week as presented by the media. An employee at a school in Harstad was put in prison for coercing a child from another part of Norway to send sexualized images / video of themselves via internet. This is forbidden by law.
Investigation: The employee has confessed and is now in police custody. Police are in the process of investigating further to see whether there are more victims. When the police have completed their investigation, the accused will meet in court for sentencing.

Illegal: It is against the law for anyone to take naked pictures of a child/minor and forbidden to ask a child/minor to undress for them. It is under no circumstances allowed for an adult to ask a child/minor to send nude pictures via computer, mobile phone, or any other device. Furthermore, it is a child’s right to decide over their own body. If someone does something illegal or something they do not wish, with their body, they have the right to say STOP and must tell someone they trust, at home, school or another adult.

Multi-sided: Although the employee has done something illegal, many know him as kind and sociable. It is important to remember that no one is entirely good or entirely bad.

Confidentiality: Employees in the municipality have a duty to uphold confidentiality. That is, they are not permitted to talk to others about what they know, about other people, or important issues. Therefore, we are not allowed to say who the accused is. If students know who it is - or think they know who it is, they must be careful with that information and not spread rumors. It can affect others who have done nothing wrong, like the family of the accused.
Be considerate of the family: It is always especially difficult for the family at times like these. If you know who the family is, please think before you speak, as to how it could hurt or affect them. Show consideration for them, as they are innocent and have done nothing wrong. Show that you care and be a good friend.

Follow-up: It is safe to be at school. But if someone wants to speak further about the situation, one can talk to parents, the contact teacher, principal or health nurse at school.
If anyone wishes to speak to police, they can call Morten Hole, the prime investigator at 906 52 940.
These points are meant to aid parents and caregivers in this difficult conversation with their children.

Hugo Thode Hansen
Harstad kommune