In the past year, I have been following the developments around the reformed school Gomarus in Gorinchem, the Netherlands. Now, the school is about to compensate two former students financially because they forced the two girls to stay in a room in school against their will in 2016. Moreover, the school forced the girls to come out as gay and told the parents without the girls’ permission. All of this based on religious and traditional grounds. Another former student already received a financial compensation of €1500 in 2019. The compensation is for the costs that the former students had as a result of what happened to them at that school.
The Dutch Ministry of Education has been pushing Gomarus for some time to offer the former students financial compensation. After the Public Prosecution Service announced that there had been
criminal offenses, including coercion, the school agreed with the compensation, according to those involved. The Public Prosecution Service has not prosecuted the school.
This story does something to me on a deeper level. I was never compensated for the mistakes that the leaders of the Jewish ultra-Orthodox school made in Amsterdam, which led to me not having children long-term. Though I am in touch with the new board members and leaders of that school, the old leaders who are responsible for this outcome, as well as for the suffering of other students, were never judged. They lived ‘happily ever after’ and got some new positions somewhere else within the community after being asked to leave the school. A sense of justice is lacking immensely.