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Czech primary school hires private security, ROMEA organization offers aid to the management

5.5.2022 14:01
The Za Chlumem Primary School in Bílina (PHOTO: https://www.zschlum.cz)
The Za Chlumem Primary School in Bílina (PHOTO: https://www.zschlum.cz)

As of Monday, three employees of a private security firm have begun to oversee the situation in the Za Chlumem Primary School in Bílina, Czech Republic. The school and the town hall, as its founder, are attempting to calm the situation in the upper primary grades by bringing in security guards.

Approximately 20 problematic pupils, reportedly of Romani origin, have been behaving aggressively toward their classmates and teachers and disrupting instruction. The school has been offered aid by the ROMEA organization, which holds motivational discussions with Romani schoolchildren at primary schools throughout the Czech Republic.

Principal: These children are destroying property and escalating assaults against their classmates

"These children are causing such problems that the teachers frequently have to interrupt their teaching in the classroom. Moreover, they have been destroying not just property, but also constantly escalating their assaults on their classmates, and they have even been attacking the educators psychologically," principal Barbora Schneiderová described the situation to the Právo daily.

Schneiderová has led the Bílina school for four years, and taught at a village school prior to this. The iDNES.cz news server quotes her as admitting that hiring private security is a questionable step that will not improve the school's reputation. 

"What am I supposed to do, though, lock myself in my office and lie to everybody about what a sunshiney school we are?" the principal rhetorically asked iDNES.cz. The security guards will work at the school through the close of the school year, when the school and the town will decide what other measures are possible.

ROMEA offers aid

The Bílina school has been offered assistance by the ROMEA organization, which has been organizing motivational discussions at primary schools throughout the Czech Republic since 2019; their main focus is on motivating Romani pupils to study, to improve their morale at school, and to prepare to become productive adults. The motivational speakers are the Romani students from high schools and universities who are now or have been part of the ROMEA scholarship program

"We want to show local pupils how far they can go if they first work on themselves. Aggression and arrogance will never lead to beneficial coexistence with others," says Štefan Balog, manager of the ROMEA scholarship program who, together with Romani high school and college students, travels around the country visiting schools.

"The morale among problematic students has to be raised up and the correct path shown to them. We know it is never too late to turn the ship around and sail in the right direction," Balog said, adding that Schneiderová has welcomed the offer of a discussion and the Romani students will visit the school in early June.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Education, ROMEA, Stipendia, škola



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