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June 26, 2019
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Czech school targeted with hate over its non-white first-graders last year receives donation of laptop computers

28.9.2018 13:15
The photograph that sparked a wave of online racism. The faces and names of the pupils in the first grade of the Plynárenská School in Teplice, Czech Republic have been blurred in order to protect their identities.
The photograph that sparked a wave of online racism. The faces and names of the pupils in the first grade of the Plynárenská School in Teplice, Czech Republic have been blurred in order to protect their identities.

The CZ.NIC firm has donated 24 new laptop computers to pupils attending the Plynárenská Primary School in Teplice, Czech Republic, a gift worth almost CZK 400 000 [EUR 16 000] made in response to last year's wave of hate speech about a photograph of the school's first-grade class published by the local daily Teplický deník. News server Romea.cz has previously reported about the case here.

"The idea to support this school was something we began to discuss because of that infamous, notorious scandal with the photograph of the local first- graders, which outraged us all. We had the feeling it was something that has absolutely no business happening in our area," the Executive Director of the firm, Ondřej Filip, told the editors of the Ústecký Region edition of news server iDNES.cz.

The delivery of the laptops to the pupils was a touching experience for him, the news server reports. "It was an amazing experience for me and I believe the computers will aid with the instruction of these children," Filip told the news server.

"Our country lacks an enormous number of experts in information technology, and all children who educate themselves in that field will certainly be able to apply themselves there," the Executive Director said. Principal Marcela Prokůpková was also glad about the donation, as it has significantly contributed to equipping the school's computer lab to an extent which the school could otherwise never have afforded.

"The pupils will use [the laptops] primarily for computer science instruction, but they will also use them for other subjects. We have installed instruction programs on them for foreign languages and mathematics, for example," she told journalists.

The wave of hateful commentaries was sparked by the first-graders' class photo after it was published by the local daily, as is customary, and a nationalist website then republished it along with the full names of the pupils and their teachers, from where hundreds of social network users subsequently shared it, frequently with hateful commentaries about the children. The class was comprised mostly of children who are of Arab or Romani origin, which many of those discussing them online commented on by posting messages such as "Just [symbol of a gun]", "Class full of terrorists", "Plynárenská [Gas Pipeline] Street Primary School - the solution is obvious" or "A grenade would fit in like a little butt on the bench just fine there!"

Several of those who posted such comments have been charged and one woman has already been convicted, fined, and given a suspended sentence. A wave of solidarity with the victims of the abuse also gathered force and the school has received financial donations from public collections undertaken by several other organizations, including ROMEA.

Die, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Extremism, Hate violence, Racism, škola



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