City Council Nationalists Try to Ban Bilingual Students From Speaking Foreign Languages at School in Sweden

A group of nationalist local councilors in Sweden are reportedly attempting to ban bilingual students from speaking foreign languages in the area's schools during class and break times.

According to The Local, the eleven Swedish Democrats councilors on Skurup City Council, a southern municipality not far from Malmö, have brought a motion proposing the languages ban to promote integration, reduce bullying and improve grades.

"Daring to make demands that Swedish is spoken in our schools is to dare to take responsibility for the school, something that has unfortunately been lacking for a long time," the proposal by the right-wing populist party states, The Local reported.

"Therefore, we are convinced that it should be Swedish that is normally used as a language of conversation in corridors and classrooms, for a faster integration into Swedish society."

The Swedish Democrats hold 11 of the 41 seats on Skurup's council, the most of any single party but significantly short of a majority.

The center-right Moderate Party has 10 seats on the council and the center-left Social Democrats also hold 10.

Johan Bolinder, a Moderate and chairman of the Skurup council committee, did not respond immediately to Newsweek's request for comment, though he has expressed support in principle.

"There have been many new arrivals to our municipality, and many of them cannot really speak Swedish," Lars Nyström, who leads the Swedish Democrats group on Skurup council, told Expressen.

"The key to entering Swedish society is the language. Then you can read newspapers, take part in media, then you have to speak Swedish to get a decent job."

Language classes, such as English, and minority Swedish languages, such as Sami, would be excluded.

Nyström said: "When they come home they can talk what they want. It will make it easier to get good grades."

Magnus Alm, a Social Democrat member of Skurup council, told The Local that he thought the plan may be unlawful.

"As I understand it, considering how school law looks, we can't force students to speak some languages," Alm said.

"If a student has difficulty in achieving the curriculum's goals because they speak limited Swedish, they must partly speak another language. Rather, I think it should be seen as an asset."

Some Swedes on social media criticized the Swedish Democrats over their proposal.

"But how should SD ensure that the Swedish language is spoken on breaks?" asked Peder Bergström in a tweet.

"How many language guards should they employ for this to be complied with? What punishments do they intend to distribute to those who violate the language rule during breaks? SD in Skurup has not thought about how this should be implemented."

Sweden Skurup
Skurup in Sweden where the nationalist Swedish Democrats party is trying to ban bilingual students from speaking foreign languages at school. Google Street View