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Czech principal expresses gratitude for solidarity shown after online racist death threats

23.11.2017 13:50
Marcela Prokůpková, principal of the primary school in Teplice whose first-grade class in 2017 was subjected to online death threats after the class photo was published because most of the children were not white. (PHOTO: Jan Mihaliček)
Marcela Prokůpková, principal of the primary school in Teplice whose first-grade class in 2017 was subjected to online death threats after the class photo was published because most of the children were not white. (PHOTO: Jan Mihaliček)

The principal of the school in Teplice that was targeted by xenophobes with hateful online attacks at the beginning of November tells news server Romea.cz that she has been surprised by the enormous wave of solidarity that has replaced that of hatred. ROMEA and other organizations, including many public figures, have decided to join the Romani Scholarship Program campaign, which this school year will be supporting 86 students from all over the Czech Republic.

Some of the funds raised will be used to support children of all nationalities attending the primary school in Teplice that was attacked online. The campaign was initiated by Czech politician and sociologist Ivan Gabal and has been supported by the Czech Public Defender of Rights, Anna Šabatová, by the musician and former Human Rights Minister Michael Kocáb, and by the political scientist and publisher Fedor Gál.

Interview with Marcela Prokůpková

Q: What was the reaction to our fundraising drive like at your school?

A: When I announced to the faculty that a big campaign supporting our pupils had been launched, I think my colleagues were very enthusiastic and that the enormous strength of the support, and not just the financial support, greatly pleased them.

Q: What would you like to tell those who have supported you as part of this appeal?

A: I would like to thank all of the people very much, because I was surprised by it, just as I was surprised by the big wave of hateful commentaries on social networks and by what transpired around that and by what was on television. That wave was replaced by a big wave of support, of solidarity and interest in our children and in our school per se. I would like to very much thank all of those people for contributing and for the supportive comments. I am very pleased by them, but I am not the only one, all of the employees of our school, and the children too, certainly, are pleased.

Q: Do you know how you will use the financial gift?

A: We want to use the money primarily for our first graders and our ninth graders. The remaining money we will spend on all the other children irrespective of their age, race, nationality, sex, etc. All of the children will benefit from this fundraising and certainly will also get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Q: What message would you like to send to the students in the Roma Scholarship Program?

A: I would like to wish them success so that during their studies, and when they have completed their studies and are applying themselves in practice, they will demonstrate that among Romani students there are students will go on to be bona fide members of our society, to show that they are also managing to educate themselves and to become full-fledged citizens of our republic.

mih, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Kampaň, ROMEA, Romani people, Romské děti



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