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Roma demand apology from Czech Education Minister on Facebook for his insulting remarks on television

7.5.2015 15:42
Marcel Chládek (PHOTO:  Czech Education Ministry)
Marcel Chládek (PHOTO: Czech Education Ministry)

Romani activist Miroslav Klempár is using his Facebook profile to call on Romani people to sign an open letter to Czech Education Minister Marcel Chládek. Klempár refers in the letter to the minister's recent appearance on Czech Television, where he responded to a critical report by Amnesty International in part as follows:  "We are doing our best today just to get children from excluded localities into the schools. Many representatives of the schools go to their homes to drag them out of bed. They are doing their best to teach them the basics of hygiene, to speak Czech correctly, and also to teach them that it's just not normal for someone to stay in bed until noon and then smoke a pack of cigarettes - in other words, that people also go to work."

The text of the open letter demanding an apology from the minister continues as follows:  "How dare the Education Minister say this about us? As a parent who works just like the rest of you do, and who regularly sends his children to school every day, I am personally offended!! We will not let ourselves be humiliated and insulted this way, and we will let the minister know that we don't like it and that he's wrong!... Let's stand up to people like this, let's not let our children be humiliated. Each of us must defend his children!!!"

Klempár also said the following to news server Romea.cz:  "The remarks by Minister Chládek are inexcusable. He's talking like a xenophobe, maybe he's basing his remarks on some specific experience, that someone somewhere once dragged a Romani child out of bed to get the child to go to school, but that certainly does not depict all Romani people. The minister is generalizing about us."  

According to Klempár, roughly 800 people have signed the letter so far. He wants to deliver it directly to Minister Chládek next week.

čon, mik, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Amnesty International, Inkluzivní vzdělávání, Marcel Chládek



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