Editorial: Czech Senator publishes untruths in defense of segregated school
At the close of February, the Czech School Inspection (Česká školní inspekce - ČŠI) published its inspection report from its monitoring of the Primary School in the town of Krásná Lípa. In September 2015, Romani parents there had complained that their children had been concentrated into a single class.
The conclusions of that report are unambiguous and very unfavorable to the school. The ČŠI has asked that the establisher of the school, the town of Krásná Lípa, remove principal Ivana Preyová as a result of its findings.
At its 23rd session on 24 February 2016, the town council decided not to remove her. This is no surprise.
Removing her would have meant the principal would have had to vote against herself - she is a member of the local council, representing a group called "Association 2014" (Sdružení 2014), which governs there. This fact is being tactically kept from us by the rest of the Czech media and the average reader will not find it out.
The political cover for the principal is now working like a well-oiled machine. Members of the governing coalition in Krásná Lípa immediately began to fight for their colleague in the media.
Those colleagues include the "multifunctional" Senator Zbyněk Linhart, who is also the second Vice Mayor of Krásná Lípa, and who also has time to act as the chair of the public benefit corporation "Czech Switzerland" (České Švýcarsko). Linhart ran for the Senate on the ticket of the "Mayors and Independents" (Starostové a nezávislí) political movement, which worked with TOP 09.
In a blog posting on the Aktuálně.cz website, the Senator has done his best to discredit the ČŠI inspection team that wrote the critical report about the Primary School in Krásná Lípa. His blog was then reprinted by a website dedicated to education, "Czech School" (Česká škola).
In that piece, Linhart writes the following: "And there are several other marginal matters. A Romani activist (vice-chair of a statewide Romani movement) was part of the school inspection, who incited some parents against the school! A pro! Locals know this local activist is not exactly a reliable person. The town has long warned the state authorities and other bodies about his behavior because his activities frequently cross the line, sometimes breaking the law. When, after a couple of years, the justice system finally began to take action, [the result was a conditional sentence for drug dealing]. This person has been prosecuted in other scandals as well - for example, driving an automobile without a license, falsifying a diploma from Charles University, etc. Nevertheless, for the state authorities and bodies he is, despite this, a more reliable partner than the elected representatives of the municipality's self-government."
The information the Senator presents here apparently corresponds to the available information about a local Romani activist, Robert Ferenc - but there's a catch. Ferenc was never part of the school inspection.
The Senator, in his effort to discredit the conclusions of the Czech School Inspection, is simply lying and manipulating the facts. "Mr Robert Ferenc naturally was not a member of the inspection team. He was one of the parents who complained," Deputy Central School Inspector Ondřej Andrys told news server Romea.cz.
The only Romani member of the inspection team was an expert on questions of inclusive education, Stanislav Daniel. News server Romea.cz has asked Senator Linhart to explain his error.
The Senator has not yet responded to the questions we sent him on Friday, 4 March. We can only guess, therefore, what led this Senator and second Vice-Mayor of the town of Krásná Lípa to publish such misleading information.
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