Den Bosch school classes slowly resume after shocking teacher suicide

Stedelijk Gymnasium in Den Bosch
Stedelijk Gymnasium in Den Bosch . (Photo: Rearis / Wikimedia Commons)

The Stedelijk Gymnasium in Den Bosch is slowly resuming classes after mathematics teacher Erik Oltmans committed suicide at the high school on Monday. "We're going to try to resume our normal rhythm, for as far as you can speak of normal", rector of the school Etha Schoemaker-Konings said at a press conference on Monday afternoon, Trouw reports. The class timetable will be quickly, but carefully restored, taking all emotions into account. "We are resuming classes at an appropriate pace.

According to Schoemaker-Konings, Oltmans taught at Stedelijk Gymnasium for about a decade. He jumped off the roof of the building to his death around 9:45 a.m. Some of the school's 800 students saw it happen through the windows of their classrooms. "It's a sad day. This has a huge impact on the school, students, parents and relatives of our colleague", Schoemaker said at the press conference. 

Victim support will be available at the school for all students and teachers who need it in the coming days. Schoemaker asked that the press leave her teachers, students and their parents alone to deal with their grief.

Many messages were posted on social media in honor of math teacher Oltmans. "I can only hope that he looks down on us and sees ow much positive impact he had on the world", former student Naomi Nolte wrote on Facebook. "There are many people who did not know Erik and now look down on him because he traumatized the pupils of the Stedelijk Gymnasium. But these people did not know Erik. They did not see his dedication to his students and his fellow man. They do not understand that for someone as special as him to to do what he did today, he had to be in a very deep hole. Deeper than most of us (fortunately) can imagine. This is a great loss for all of us, and certainly a great loss for me." she wrote. "I will never forget what an impact you had on the person I am today. Rest in peace."

"Even after three years that I had you as a math teacher and unfortunately got another teacher, you kept supporting me! If I did not understand something, you'd sit with me in your free time to help me and for that I will always be grateful!" another student, Eline van der Meer, wrote on Facebook. "I still can not completely understand that you are no longer among us, but you will always be an example, for me and for many others. Rest in peace dear Ollie, we'll miss you!"