First-graders from Czech school subjected to racist attacks online receive tablets thanks to ROMEA's fundraising drive
Children attending the primary school in Teplice that faced a wave of racist online commentaries in the autumn of 2017 were given tablets and other small gifts during the end-of-year celebration that were bought for them by the school with the proceeds from the ROMEA organization's fundraising campaign on their behalf. At last Thursday's celebration, graduating pupils were given a sash to wear and were accompanied by the first-graders in addition to their teachers during the ceremony.
"Last autumn, together with Ivan Gabal, we launched a fundraising campaign drive called THEY WANT TO GAS THEM, WE WANT TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL!, through which we supported this school after it was attacked online with hate speech in response to the publication of a photograph of the first grade class. Our campaign was contributed to by 774 donors from all over the Czech Republic, and of the total amount raised through our scholarship program, half of the proceeds - CZK 225 000 [EUR 8 660] - was given in January of this year to the primary school," said Monika Mihaličková, the fundraiser for the ROMEA organization.
"We agreed with the principal of the school, rather informally and as a work in progress, that the school would divide the money donated between three different areas of investment. The aim of our proposal was an attempt to move the school in the direction of a far more open system that pupils and teachers enjoy irrespective of differences in their perspectives or positions," Gabal told Romea.cz.
"The school bought instructional tablets, including covers, for all first-graders, and we gave gift certificates to a bookstore to all graduating pupils and members of our school parliament," principal Marcela Prokůpková told news server Romea.cz. "We used some of this financing to pay for an educational program, Studio Karavana, about Europe, for grades 1 through 6, and for an educational program of primary prevention for grades 5 though 9."
"Of the overall amount of CZK 225 000 we have spent CZK 131 209 [EUR 5 050]," the principal said. "I would like to thank all the donors again who supported the school and its pupils in their difficult situation and who also thereby expressed their own attitude and opinion about what is happening in society, who were not indifferent to this."
The school's baton-twirlers, a singer, and a gifted young pianist who are all graduating performed during the celebration, which was attended by parents of the first-graders and ninth-graders. Parent Robert Holubec told Romea.cz that ""All of my children have attended this school."
"My 20-year-old daughter, my 17-year-old boy [went here] and now the youngest, who we have in first grade. My wife and I have traveled with the school during events as chaperones, so we know this school, the teaching faculty, and in our opinion it is super," Holubec said.
"We are glad the public expressed support for the school," the father said. "We also see it as important, mainly, that nothing more [than threats] happened."
"Everybody must know that nothing of this sort should ever repeat itself here again, because what happened was no good," Holubec told Romea.cz. This autumn the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway and the ROMEA organization will hold a round table on the subject of hate crime and hate speech where experts and representatives of institutions will convene to look for solutions together on how to prevent such displays of hatred and cultivate people's behavior in the public space.
- Czech prosecutors announce first indictment in case of online hate speech against first-graders
- Czech Police investigating three suspects over death threats against first-graders
- Czech ombudswoman supports fundraising campaign for school whose first-graders were racially abused online
- Czech MP and educator "understands" why some are calling for murder of first-graders
- Czech court reviews alleged racial discrimination during first-grade enrollments
- Some Czech schools institute online reservations for first-grade enrollment
- Czech school opens "special" first-grade class, only Roma assigned to it
- Antigypsyism and antisemitism rooted in European culture for centuries, experts discuss the causes of online hate
- Daniela Abraham: The antigypsyist violence of my childhood is still happening in Central Europe
- Romani Union of Slovakia: Police brutality against children must be investigated by independent commission, the ministry could be biased
- Slovak Govt Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities says she belives police brutality incident will be properly investigated, officer has been transferred
- Civil society: The Czech state is not fully implementing its Roma integration policy
- Romani residents of Czech town organize collection for child welfare NGO to fight COVID-19, dozens pitch in
- Author raising a Romani child says Czech Public Defender of Rights is racist and evil is slowly winning
- Hungarian PM announces "national consultation" about whether to compensate Romani families whose children were educated in segregated settings
- Czech teachers disagree with proposal to deprive parents of children with high absenteeism of their social benefits
- European Court of Human Rights finds Slovak authorities did not properly investigate police brutality against Romani boy
- Romani children in the Czech Republic still frequently assessed as mentally disabled and educated separately
- For a third time, Slovak court acquits police of brutalizing Romani children a decade ago, prosecutor appealing