Berlin school cancels graduation event to scuttle protest plans

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Berlin school cancels graduation event to scuttle protest plans

A Berlin high school has cancelled its planned graduation ceremony after the school's management learned that some pupils planned to stage political protests, police told dpa.

Local newspapers reported that administrators at the Gymnasium Tiergarten school in central Berlin learned of the protests from a "reliable source." In a WhatsApp group, about 50 of the 120 pupils in the graduating class reportedly discussed using the event to hold a pro-Palestinian protest.

A police spokeswoman confirmed the account to dpa, saying that school leaders had informed the police of "the cancellation and the reason the school management sees for it."

School leaders reportedly expressed fears that the protests could turn violent or lead to clashes, and cited security concerns as a reason for the cancellation.

A letter sent to families at the school, which was quoted by local media, said that the school could not guarantee safety at the event, and that pupils could instead collect their leaving certificates from school at the beginning of July.

School administrators declined to comment on the matter, referring inquiries instead to Berlin's Education Ministry.

A spokesman for the ministry said they'd learned of the incident from media reports and had requested meetings with administrators at the school.

"Our aim is to find a solution together with the school and ensure that the handover of the school-leaving certificates takes place in an appropriate setting," the spokesman said.


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