Observations of the school authorities concerning the well-being of the children of the Twelve Tribes for the Year 2012:
Excerpts from the school record
of the Private Supplementary
The report in German, with page citations to the specific reports, may be found at this link: Beobachtung der Schulbehörden.
Statements on review of school performance in the Community School, Klosterzimmern of Hubert Stapf, school psychologist / counseling Rector, 13.02.2012 (866 – 868)
1. Review of achievements in the subject German
1.1 Review of achievements in reading skills, reading comprehension on the
26th of January 2012
As a result, it should be noted that consistently good performances were conceded with regard to reading skills, reading comprehension under time limitation, however, was often not quite in the average range. This may be due to the fact that the students are not used to work under “speed conditions” (stopwatch, time-out).
1.2 Review of performance of writing in the realm of “writing for yourself and others“
As an overall result for all grade levels can be noted that the differences in gifting and growing up with non-German mother tongue (English, Tsech, Dutch) was clearly shown.
Therefore distinctly different services that were “almost excellent” “well below average” classify more than “good” and “average” to revealed.
Therefore distinctly different performances were resulting: from “almost excellent” over “good” and “average” on to “clearly below average”.
2. Review on achievements in the subject math on the 24 th of January 2012
There were 24 rated student works. In the 9th grade four of five student works were “very good“ and “good“, one was “below average”.
The two students of the 8th grade as well as the students of the 7th grade were rated in the realm of “very good” and “good”.
The two 5th grade student works were ranged in the “average” or “good” level.
Out of the students in the 4th grade one was “very good”, two were “good”, one was “average” and one below “average.”
In the 3rd grade one student was in a good level and one was “below average”.
The works of the two students in the second grade qualified as “good”.
All the students had a clean and clear presentation which made the overall positive result complete.
3. Review on performance in the content subjects HSU and GSE (Homeland, Expertise, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Sociology and Ethics) on the 31st of January 2012
It is notable as positive that all the students in the learning groups master the subject-specific ways of working ( maps work, explaining models and graphs, creating sketches and diagrams on the blackboard or on the overhead projector, partly powerpoint-presentation, student experiments).
Also in this performance review the continuous efforts to cooperate in a trustful way and to improve performance of those involved was recognizable.
In all study groups, the active participation and the joy of speaking, the secure bringing back of learned knowledge, the high concentration level, the highly disciplined behavior, the friendly atmosphere and the considerate handling of the children among each other stood out positively.
Rain am Lech, Feb. 13th,2012, Hubert Stapf
State Office of Education in the County of Donau-Ries, Donauwörth Feb. 15th, 2012, Anton Kapfer, SchAD
They break your will, beatings with sticks and race theory – fall aways of the Community of Believers “Twelve Tribes” report, how they were beaten, humiliated and legally incapacitated when they were still members of this group; Focus Magazine No. 21, May 21st, 2012 (874-879)
Anton Kapfer, State Office of Education in the County of Donau-Ries to Mr. Ernst Huber, Government of Schwaben on May 16th 2012 (880)
Following the answers to the questions of Focus Magazine (881-883):
ad 2.) The State Office of Education has no knowledge regarding chastening. At a local demand accompanied by the leader of the Youth Department (Jugendamtsleiter) of the Landratsamt Donau-Ries it was denied “under oath” by the responsible people there. Also our school psychologist Mr. Stapf has never made an observation of chastening.
Each school half-year around 10 visits are taking place by the school psychologist.
At the end of each half-year Mr. H. Stapf carries out a test in order to check the performance of the students – forwarding of a report about the RvS to the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Ad 3.) German, English, Mathematics as well as GSE (History, Social Studies, Geography), PCB (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) and Music is being taught there.
The school is largely based on the Bavarian curriculum.
Volleyball is the main ball sport. Occasionally soccer is being played too.
Hubert Stapf, school psychologist, Consulting Rector, Statement Gemeinschaftsschule Klosterzimmern (Community School Klosterzimmern) May 24th,2012 (903, 904)
…In my presence there were never racism or anti-constitutional teaching contents to be recorded. I also could not make any observations in classrooms, lounges or when children interacted with one another which would indicate to this.
During my stays in Klosterzimmern I could also not observe any verbal threat or hints of chastisement by strokes of rods or other beatings or physical violence
State Office of Education in the County of Donau-Ries to Mr. Ltd. Regierungsschuldirektor (Governmental School Headmaster) Ernst Huber, Government of Schwaben, statement to the FOCUS-report of Klosterzimmern – edition 21/2012, of May 25th, 2012 (905-907)
ad 1) allegation of corporal punishment
In all previous site visits in the last 6 years and the recent unannounced one on May 23rd, 2012 – where there was a stated decidedly questioning of the students by Mr. Alfred Kanth, Head of the Youth Department (Jugendamt) in the County of Donau-Ries, Mr. Hubert Stapf, School Psychologist and Mr. Anton Kapfer, School Office Director (Schulamtsdirektor) taking place — no evidence of corporal punishment or psychological pressure could be detected.
Alfred Kanth, (Jugendamtsleiter) Head of the Youth Department, County Office Donau-Ries to Mr. Ltd. Regierungsschuldirektor (Governmental School Headmaster) Ernst Huber, Government of Schwaben, statement on the allegations of the Twelve Tribes on May 30th, 2012 (909-911)
…The Jugendamt is in contact with the members of the Twelve Tribes on a regular basis, ever since they moved to Klosterzimmern.
From the beginning there was a very constructive cooperation with the state school board; all insights and measures are being exchanged and coordinated; partly the tests are being carried out together…
The visitations are either unannounced or announced, depending on the reason for the visit (with or without cause)….
B) All the children in classes 1-9 were heard at an unannounced visit on May 23rd, 2012, without the “teachers”, parents or any other person being present. (for detail see the report of the state school board of May 25th, 2012).
- Racial discrimination doesn’t exist [in the community, supplied by the translator].
- conflicts are mainly being solved verbally.
- Violence is unknown in the training of children
At this visitation the spokesman of the community was requested to let the children undergo a medical examination by the medical officer.
C) On May 24th, 2012, 42 children under age, were checked by the medical officer, with the consent of the parents.
The head of the state public health authorities Donau-Ries, Mr. Dr. Mainka, who examined the children, concludes the following:
None of the 42 children and youth, that were examined, had any changes in the skin or injuries, characteristic for abuse. There weren’t any indicators for psychological abuse of children under age either: As far as the examination was concerned, the parent-children-relationships were intact. The medical examination took place in a friendly relaxed atmosphere.
To the present day, there is any indicator, that would confirm the accusations. All the children make always an open and happy impression at the visits; there weren’t any traces of injury found. We didn’t receive any reports from people associated with the families lately either (grandparents, or relatives for example, who do not live in the Twelve Tribes).
The members of the Twelve Tribes seem to be very cooperative and open. They were always willing to stay in the conversation. They present their way of life once a year to the public at the “Hoffest”.
Ernst Huber, senior director of the government, Government of Schwaben to the school board Donau-Ries, Subject: private supplementary school of the association Gemeinschaftsschule in Klosterzimmern e.V.; Accusations in the journal “Focus” Nr. 21/2012, June 6th, 2012 (913, 914)
By the way: thank you very much for your engaged effort concerning the matter of the reports that have been transmitted.
… we gathered statements concerning this matter of the school boards, the Jugendamt (youth department) and the public health department in the district administration Donau-Ries, of the FZ Möttingen (GE), of the state school board in the county of Donau-Ries and of Mr. BR Stapf as the teacher who was commissioned with the visitations, and we attached these statements in data form. We refer to these statements, in particular to the statements of the school board, the public health department, and the Jugendamt. Summarizing we give our view as follows:
1. Physical abuse:
The examinations of the medical officer on May 5th, 2012 (taking up May 23rd, 2012) didn’t provide any indicators for psychological abuse by the 42 present children under age (not only the ones that have to attend school). Eight of the registered children under age weren’t in Klosterzimmern though, on this day (at least). According to the explanation of the Community these children are in other countries, or in Berlin currently. Accordingly, all the statements emphasize on the fact, that any indicators for abuse became obvious, also as they refer to their longstanding and rather frequent visits in Klosterzimmern (school boards, Jugendamt).
Concerning the methods of child training, described in the “Focus” article on page 50 (right column), which the evaluation “Racism” seems to be based on, the school authorities didn’t acquire any insight, despite their frequent school visits.
…Altogether, by the means that are available to the authorities, there weren’t any indicators or even evidence found for the accusations in “Focus”. This doesn’t necessarily rule out any justification of the accusations. In this respect the results of the investigations of the prosecuting attorney’s office, which didn’t conclude their investigations yet, will be relevant. We suggest to wait for these results.
Government of Schwaben, processor Ernst Huber and the Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture, intermediate report concerning the application of urgency of the Member of Parliament Margarete Bause among others, concerning shortcomings at the private supplementary school of the association Gemeinschaftsschule in Klosterzimmern e.V. (draft) (association community school in Klosterzimmern), June 29th, 2012 (918, 919, 920-922)
…the persons that are responsible for the school in the community rejected all the accusations concerning spanking and racist comments in our conversation on May 15th, 2012, (Jugendamt/School board). In our conversations with all the groups of students (without the presence of any adult members of the community), at the unannounced visit on May 23rd, 2012, there were no indicators that would confirm the accusations. The examinations of the medical officer (with the consent of the parents on a voluntary basis) on May 24th, 2013 didn’t give any indications of corporal punishment by all the 42 children under age, especially no changes of the skin or injuries that would be typical for abuse, neither any psychologically conspicuous behavior were found. Accordingly, all the statements that were gathered (representative of the school board, assigned primary school teacher, Jugendamt, MSD-teacher) emphasize on the fact that:
not any indicators for abuse were found, also as far as they refer to their longstanding and rather frequent visits in Klosterzimmern (school boards, Jugendamt). The education authorities themselves, who were asked to give an account, rejected the accusations.
Altogether, by the means that are available to the authorities, there weren’t any indicators or even evidence found for the accusations in “Focus”…
Irrespective of this, all the authorities, that deal with the community, will observe the situation with a critical eye, also in the future.
Anton Kapfer, state school board in the county of Donau-Ries to Mrs. senior school director of the government Johanna Heiß-Wimmer, Government of Schwaben, performance report, concerning Klosterzimmern at the end of the school year 2011/2012, July 24th, 2012 (934-947)
… Mrs. Bernert as well as Mr. Stapf prepared, performed, corrected and evaluated the tests very conscientiously and with much care.
Statement concerning the examination of the performance at the Gemeinschaftsschule in Klosterzimmern (2012, July)
1. Examination of the achievements in the subject German on July 11th, 2012July
1.1 Examination of the achievements in the realm of “exploring language”
All the results that were achieved from the 17 students of the classes 2-7 were at least average.
1.2. examination of the achievements in the realm of “to write for yourself and others”, “text production”
7 of the 28 students of the classes 1-9, were above average, 16 average and 5 below average. According to official evaluation criteria of the QA (qualified certificate of Secondary Education), the 4 tests of the students of the ninth grade could have been evaluated with the grades “good” (2 students), “satisfying” (1 student), and “sufficient” (1 Schüler).
Summary of results of German Language:
As in previous examinations, we realized this time as well that the results in the subject German were satisfying altogether. Weaker, or below average performance of some students can partly be attributed to the fact, that these children don’t speak German as their first language; this is noted on the documents.
As in previous years, we can see the efforts of the teachers to take on didactical methodological advices and specifically to maintain certain guidelines of different types of texts or writing intentions (for example telling, informing, reasoning, personal letter…).
2. Examination of the achievements in the subject Maths on July 10th, 2012July
Summary of the results in Maths:
14 (50%) of 28 evaluated and marked student works were in the above average realm, 9 (32%) in the average realm and 5 (18%) in the below average realm.
Here was the accumulation of below average results in the 4th grade remarkable, which will be discussed with the responsible teachers.
Otherwise the observations of the previous years apply still: Again the children work concentrated and orderly, approaches and partial steps were easily traceable.
3. examination of the achievements in the subjects HSU and GSE (local history, geography, history and social studies) on July 7th, 2012
Generally we can say, that our positive observations of the previous years concerning the students’ own efforts, cooperation, use of media, and techniques of presentation etc. are still applicable.
Altogether at the examinations at the private supplementary school in Klosterzimmern, we realized again the willingness to cooperate, openness towards correction, or propositions of the advising rector who took the tests, as well as a friendly, trustful atmosphere.
Signature Hubert Stapf, advising rector
signature Anton Kapfer, headmaster of the school board
State prosecuting attorney’s office Augsburg to Mr. Reg. dir Dr. Hell, preliminary proceedings against persons unknown to the disadvantage of the heard person of the Twelve Tribes because of abuse of charges, July 10th, 2009 (978)
File printout of the reasons for the discontinuation in the proceedings: file reference number: 201 Ujs 202320/09, order of July 10th, 2009 (979, 980)
…On the basis of the submitted facts and on the basis of the investigations the members, or the leaders of the community of believers can’t be found guilty of any criminal action that could be prosecuted, so that the proceedings need to be stopped.
Indicators for actual, grave offenses, also concerning the established school, couldn’t be detected in the framework of an actual assessment through the responsible administrative authorities, especially the Jugendamt and the state school board.
In the process the government of Schwaben explained, that the school was under the state’s control, that there were regular examinations of the learning contents, and that a school psychologist as well as an English teacher were involved. The cooperation with the leaders of the Twelve Tribes was so good, that it was even possible to talk with the children alone. In these conversations the children hadn’t made a frightened or abused impression. Although one of the members of the Twelve Tribes (Mr. Röhrs), when asked, didn’t deny, that children were also being chastised in the context of an upbringing according to the Old Testament, there are still no indicators that would show, that concrete actions had happened, which would exceed the tolerable dimensions of the parental right of education in such a drastic way that state interference would be required.
Mrs. Maria Halser-Friedl, government of Schwaben, reproach of use of violence towards children of the Twelve Tribes; meeting at the state school board Donauwörth on May 28th, 2009, memorandum, May 29th, 2009 (981-983)
Mr. Kanth, head of the regional youth office (Kreisjugendamt)/ District administration Donau-Ries
Mr. Stapf, School psychologist, administrative district Donau-Ries
Mr. Leopold, state school board, administrative district Donau-Ries
Mr. Dr. Hell, RvS, SGL 40.2
Mrs. Halser-Friedl, RvS. Ref. 44-1
Reason for the meeting are the accusations of Mr. Gath towards the KM, the children in the community were being abused.
… During the hearing of Mr. Gath it became clear, that all three alleged crimes are already barred. For this reason the state attorney’s office doesn’t see any necessity for further investigations in this matter. To get an overview of the situation locally the directors of the school board and Jugendamt went to the community on April 23rd, 2009. They couldn’t determine any indicators for the use of violence towards children (as traces of injuries or hints from the conversation with the children).
Mr. Stapf explains, that he had contact with the children of the community twice a year for about 5 days in the context of the required evaluations of the achievements in the school.
Meanwhile the relationships with the adults of the community were so trustful, that they even left him alone with the children.
During his visits he had hardly any contact with the parents, this was limited to greeting one another. Meanwhile the community was more open to modern school topics, the children were well informed about pregnancy for example.
In the community lived also a child with the Down-Syndrome. This child had been supervised by a special teacher. He had noticed, that the child was being promoted very well. At his many appointments with the community, he had never noticed any indicator, for the fact that the children were being abused.
More to the contrary individual situations gave him the impression that the relationships between fathers and children were very loving and not at all characterized by fear. That is why he himself had never had the suspicion, that the children were being beaten.
Mr. Kanth explained, that one child of the community, Marvin, had come to live with his mother in the community voluntarily one and a half years ago, coming from difficult conditions (the father is an alcoholic) at his fathers place in Austria. The boy is now about 16 years old. He said he knew Marvin a little bit better, since he had had several conversations, when the boy moved to his mother. Mr. Kanth is sure, that Marvin would say something if he was being abused. He had come to know the life outside the community as well.
Mr. Kanth reports further, that already years ago the accusation had occured, that the children in the community wouldn’t receive medical treatment when they were ill. Thereupon he had investigated. Mr. Röhrs (a member of the community), who is a nurse, had told him, that natural treatments were preferred and that vaccination was being rejected. Severe illnesses were being treated by specialists. This information is true according to the investigations of Mr. Kanth.
So far, none of the several doctors who treat members of the community, had made a report to the Jugendamt because of a suspicion of physical abuse of the children.
Mr. Kanth and Mr. Stapf confirm accordingly, that, according to their observations, there were no indicators for the fact, that the children were being beaten in school. The children didn’t seem to be frightened at all, and they hadn’t noticed any physical signs at all (such as bruises, stripes etc. ).
Mr. Leopold confirms, that at the visits the children didn’t give a frightened impression. Last year, one students of the community had made her Certificate of Secondary Education as an external participant of the examination. The fact alone that this was possible for the student, showed already, that the community didn’t have anything to hide concerning their. According to the experiences of Mr. Leopold, the mistrust of the parents towards the authorities could be reduced noticeably over the past years. Mr. Röhrs for example, when he heard that Mr. Leopold practiced martial arts, asked him, if he could do that with the children in the community some day. While doing this kind of physical training, one had close physical contact, and signs of physical abuse (such as bruises, stripes etc.) would definitely be seen.
The suggestion of Mr. Röhrs showed, that the adults seemed to be lacking any sense of having to hide something. Mr. Leopold refused the suggestion of Mr. Röhrs though, referring to his position.
… Mr. Leopold points out that the examinations of the school in in the community in the subject of English were being made by Mrs. Bernert. The lady was very reserved towards the life concepts of the community, in particular towards their image of women. Mrs. Bernert hadn’t noticed any indicators for the fact that the children were being abused, either.
To end the conversation the following conclusion is drawn:
The three cases, described by Mr. Gath, didn’t happen in a school context but in a private context. This aligns with the observations of the Jugendamt and the school boards, which confirm that there are no indicators for the fact, that the children are being beaten in school. Regardless of that, the school examinations continue as before; in the future we will give particular attention to the question if any signs are visible, that the children are being beaten. The same applies to private life: for lack of indicators of physical abuse, the Jugendamt doesn’t have any leverage to act. They were going to continue to observe the community as until now, and to examine, if there were any signs of child abuse.
Besides the participants, the following authorities will receive a copy of the protocol of this meeting:
- prosecutor attorney’s office
- KM, Mr. Stefan Graf RvS
- Mr. Schütz, SGL 13
Bavarian State Ministry of Education and Culture
Assessment of the suitability of the supplementary school of the community in Klosterzimmern in Deiningen-Klosterzimmern for the performance of full-time – and the compulsory vocational education for the school years 2006 / 2007 until 2012 /2013 (984 – 996)
Andrea Vogl, government of Schwaben to Anton Kapfer, State Office of Education in the district of Donau-Ries, regarding youth welfare office search for corporal punishment in the 12 tribes, August 9th, 2012 (997)
…to question 3 Interim Report on the Emergency Motion of Deputies Margarete Bause and others because of grievances at the private supplementary school of the Community School Association in Klosterzimmern, 01/08/2012 (975-977):
Were there members of the community who have approached the state government with indications that “something does not run properly in this supplementary school” in recent years? If so, when? What reactions were carried out?
Are there appropriate hints shown to the Government or the State Office of Education?
With regard to the questionnaire submitted by the Ministry of Culture, we found a complaint process from Mr. Gath from 2009. At that time, both, the Jugendamt, and the Office of Education, as well as the public prosecutor’s attorney’s office were involved. Ultimately the proceedings were stopped and also the Jugendamt could not find any hints of corporal punishment of the children in the family environment.
So there should be documents available at the Jugendamt. It is not about the accusation of “swaddling of infants”, which you mentioned in number 3.
Government of Schwaben, private supplementary school association of the community in Klosterzimmern, fulfillment of the Compulsory vocational education – Schooling of school-age young people without an apprenticeship place (Plan), August 16th, 2012 (999, 1000)
…The obligation to allow the states school supervision at all times the examination of teaching as well as of the performance and learning progress, has been fully implemented by the school.
So far during the visits (concerning the youth without apprenticeship place) no irregularities or unusual occurrences were noted.
signed, R. Rager, 42, 1-1
For the rest of these excerpts of the Klosterzimmern private school records, follow this link, “Let the Record Speak.”