Amsterdam Fashion Institute an unsafe environment for students, staff, report shows
The Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) is not a safe environment for students and employees, research agency Bezemer & Schubad concluded in a report. The agency found that students were, or still are, treated unacceptably by teachers tasked with developing them, ANP reported.
The report stated that students confronted an extremely high workload. The behavior of some teachers was aimed at destroying the self-image and self-confidence of their students. Complaints from students were also not taken seriously enough.
In May, students and alumni of AMFI demanded that the director and a senior lecturer resign after multiple complaints about an unsafe and unhealthy working atmosphere at the educational institute.
The students claimed that sexually and racially charged comments by lecturers towards students caused a toxic environment. The director and senior lecturer in question allegedly dismissed clear signs of transgressive behavior for years. Bezemer & Schubad then carried out the research into social safety on behalf of the AMFI.
Many students came forward after an article about former student and guest lecturer at the AMFI, Martijn N., appeared in Dutch media. He has been accused by 20 men of sexually transgressive behavior, including rape, sexual assault, harassment and threats. Some of the men said they were underage at the time these crimes occurred.
“The report confirms the harrowing stories that have come to us in recent months via (former) students. I apologize for that and it makes me sad but at the same time combative to implement changes with urgency”, said Dirk Reynders, director at AMFI. According to him, it will "never happen again" that students cannot be themselves.
Signs of underlying issues at the AMFI emerged when the school voiced its support for the Black Lives Matter movement last year, with some students claiming the solidarity was hypocritical.