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December 12, 2018
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Romani girl attempts suicide after bullying at her primary school in Czech town

30.10.2018 19:40
A screenshot from the TV NOVA broadcast about police investigating bullying at a Czech school that led to a Romani girl attempting suicide in 2018. (PHOTO:  tn.cz)
A screenshot from the TV NOVA broadcast about police investigating bullying at a Czech school that led to a Romani girl attempting suicide in 2018. (PHOTO: tn.cz)

A pupil in the eighth grade of the Slovanka Primary School in the town of Česká Lípa has attempted suicide because her fellow pupils bullied her. It is likely that they picked on her because of her Romani origin.

"It began with insults because of what I look like and what I am. They said I am a shitty gypsy," the girl, who has Romani forebears on her father's side, told TV NOVA.

"I did my best not to worry about it, not to react to them, but I couldn't ignore it any more," said the girl, who eventually attempted suicide in the restroom by cutting herself. The press spokesperson for the local police, Ivana Baláková, confirmed that police have investigated the circumstances of the minor causing herself the cutting injuries.

Given the girl's age, however, no further information will be provided by the authorities. "The boys [who bullied her] have had their grades lowered and been given rehabilitation measures. They are actually under the microscope not just of the school management, but of the homeroom teachers. A reprimand from the principal and low grades for behavior will not work on 80 % of children, though, sometimes the children see it as proof of their superiority," school principal Václav Špetlík told tn.cz.

The principal believes it would aid primary schools if they could introduce conditional expulsion, which is possible at secondary schools. The school management has done its best to convince the pupils' parents to withdraw them from the school, but the parents disagreed with that option.

"Even though all the bureaucrats and experts see it differently, the final decision is up to the parents and just the parents," the principal said. Instead, the bullied girl is the one who has withdrawn from the school.

"At the end of the school year she had top grades. Those boys? They're lucky to get by at all," the girl's mother told tn.cz.

bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Česká Lípa, Racism, Šikana, škola



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