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Teachers face jail time for leading kids over railway

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Teachers face jail time for leading kids over railway
Priwo/Wikimedia
11:31 CEST+02:00
A group of adults who led over 80 Austrian schoolchildren over a closed railway crossing just seconds before a train came may face jail time for their dangerous actions.

Austrian prosecutors are now deciding what charges should be brought against the four teachers who accompanied the children on a school trip to Burg Kreuzenstein in Lower Austria on June 28th.

Seven other adults - some of whom are thought to be parents - who were part of the group accompanying the children may also face charges. 

Witnesses told police that one of the adults climbed under the level crossing at Leobendorf station to reach a train back to Vienna from the other platform.

The rest of the group - including the 83 children between 10 and 12-years-old - reportedly followed the adult, reaching the other side just before a train passed through the station.

After a complaint was made to police, authorities tracked down the teachers and have now reported them to prosecutors for endangering public safety.

Prosecutors are now deciding what charges, if any, should be brought against the teachers. If they are charged and found guilty, they could face jail time of up to one year or a hefty fine.

Three of the teachers involved in the incident have been dismissed by the school and a fourth is facing disciplinary measures.

Some parents complained about the dismissals, arguing that it would damage the school children's education.

Parent representative at the school Julia Köberl has said she believes it was an “individual incident of misconduct” and the teachers are otherwise “excellent, responsible teachers”.

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