Maybe I saved the life of my cousin

When I took my cousin in one of the options beside the impossible one - to let him study abroad was to ship him to a boarding school where he only could be home during the weekends.


The entire family hesitated to use this option as the boarding schools lately has changed their student body from at-risk children to children in need to be shelthered from the general youth culture in Denmark.


Families with non-Danish originals used to force their children abroad so they could be beaten into abandon the Danish way of living and married before they could come back. A law prevented this traffic, but their parents wanted to shelter them to some degree. Often the compromise is extremist Christian boarding schools instead.


"An idol is better than no God" seems to be the motto.


But there is another dark side to the Danish boarding schools known as "Efterskoler" in Danish. They isolate the students the first months. The can only use cellphones or speak with their parents in the weekends. Some weekends they even force the students to remain at the school.


The goal by using this exercise is to let the students buy into the program and adjust to not only the sheltered environment but also the spartan environment where the students cannot socialize or party as they do outside the boarding schools.


It is as they create a kind of subculture in the boarding schools where their values are so different than the one outside in the normal society that it becomes risky for the healths of the students.


Some weeks ago a boat carrying 13 students and 2 teachers capsized in the ocean. 5 or 6 students ended up in coma and one teacher died. It is the second known deaths in the boarding schools connected to boating on the ocean. The parents didn't know about what they were doing on the almost frozen ocean because it was normal to take chances with wilderness expeditions during the year.


My cousin could have been living at such a boarding school instead of living here where he can drink a beer and talk about what is bothering or what did take place at the school. I can stop whatever they do at the school, which is not an option for parents who have their children at a boarding school. It could turn out to be the difference between life and death.


That's why I think that I saved the life of my cousin.


See: One person missing after Danish dragon boat capsizes

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