Boy with Down's syndrome unwanted in school
THE PARENTS of Dominik Kovár, who suffers from Down's syndrome, wanted their son to go to a regular school rather than a special one for kids with similar health conditions, and so they started looking for a school that would accept their son.
By law, mandatory school attendance applies to children who are not disabled as well as to those who are, and the parents of the latter have a right to choose whether their child goes to a special school or a regular one. In practice, Dominik's parents found, life is different.
According to the daily SME, the parents of the first-grader wanted their son to go to a regular school because they learned of a positive experience of one such case at an Italian school, where a boy with Down's syndrome attended classes at a standard school.
"We saw the positive effect this had on the boy and the other children as well," Dominik's mother, Eva Kovárová, told SME.
She said that it took them half a year to find a school that they liked and that would accept Dominik.
In February they finally found the right school in their own district of Karlova Ves; the elementary school ZŠ Komenského.
Last week, however, the school's principal, Katarína Dutková, changed her mind and told the parents that the school would no longer take him. The decision came shortly before the end of the school year, and the parents think it will be almost impossible to find a school for their child over summer vacation.
Dutková told SME that she was sorry for the trouble and the situation that Dominik's parents were in, but she argued that there were several reasons for her decision.
"We had not seen the child [in school] until now. The mother did not bring him in on registration day, saying that he was ill," Dutková said.
The school also found that Dominik's disability was more severe than Kovárová had originally told them.
Despite this, Dutková said, her school had been willing to accept the boy because they had plans to open two first-grade classes with fewer children than usual.
"In April we were told, however, that our school would be merged with the neighbouring school," said Dutková, adding that the other school could not accept Dominik because it's classes are already full.
Viera Rosinová from the Slovak Education Ministry said she understood the school's position.
"If the [new school] was not able to secure the boy's conditions for integration, the school could get into trouble," Rosinová said.
School inspector Vladislav Rosa confirmed that the principal had the right to repeal her previous decisions. He warned, however, that this could be "a case of the state failing to provide the mandatory school attendance."
Dominik's parents, meanwhile, continue to insist that their son be integrated, as they say is common in developed states of the world.
They consider their son's rejection as discrimination and segregation.
CLOSE to his house, Gablík finds dinner for the whole family.
photo: Žilinské noviny - Michal Filek
MARIÁN Gablík from the northern Slovak village of Štiavnik found a giant mushroom on a recent visit to his local forest.
According to regional newspaper Žilinské noviny, Gablík found the fungus, known locally as Red Cossack (Kozák osikový) close to his house on June 21.
"About one kilometre from my house I found this beautiful Cossack under the aspen trees," Gablík told Žilinské noviny.
"It was covered with grass but I could see it from 15 metres away," he said.
The edible mushroom was 31 centimetres tall and weighed a proud one and quarter kilograms.
"I have never found such a big mushroom in my life. It is not usual for Cossacks to grow this big," he said.
According to Žilinské noviny, the tasty mushroom was destined for the plate. Gablík's wife said she was going to prepare it with scrambled eggs.
Rescuers free man from truck
A RESCUE team that arrived at the site of an accident between the villages of Mýtna and Píla in the southern district of Lučenec took an hour and a half to free a man who could not get out of his truck because his leg was stuck inside.
In the end they had to amputate the man's leg to free him.
The accident took place on June 30 after his truck collided with a tree, demolishing the driver's cabin.
It is unclear what exactly caused the accident. It is believed, however, that the driver, unnamed, dozed off. Police are investigating the circumstances.
Fiat cars set Guinness record
IN A SUCCESSFUL effort to make a new Guinness record, the main square in the central Slovak town of Zvolen was packed with 126p Fiat cars.
At a similar gathering last year, organisers rounded up 199 Fiats, which earned them an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. This year's gathering saw 220, wrote the SME daily.
Igor Svitok, an organiser of the event, said that it would take about half a year to get the new record officially entered in the book.
OPERATION leaves Momo more mild-mannered, but no hope for baby orangutans.
Castrated Momo a good boy
THE ONCE temperamental male orangutan Momo, from the Bojnice zoo, has become a proverbial lamb after castration, the SME daily wrote.
The reason for Momo's castration was his growing aggressiveness. One day while playing with the orangutan females, he suddenly grabbed one of them, Tara, and threw her to the ground from the small pedestal where she had been standing.
The female was badly hurt and died several days later.
Momo was immediately separated from Nanga, the other orangutan with whom he shared zoo space, and was scheduled for castration.
These days, however, Momo is a new orangutan. He again lives with Nanga and the two play together without any disturbing outbreaks of aggression.
Momo came to the Bojince zoo from France, and he may soon be exchanged for a different male because the zoo would like Nanga to have babies.
Male orangutans that live in the wild - found only in Borneo and Sumatra - grow as big as 100 kilograms when they reach adulthood. Females are usually half that size.
Digging one's own grave
CRIMINOLOGISTS from the western Slovak city of Trenčín have tracked down perpetrators who recently brutally beat Milan N, 52, and then forced him to dig his own grave.
According to the SME daily, Milan N was beaten with a rubber hose and clubs. They told him that if he did not dig the hole they would kill him. The terror, however, did not end at that. When Milan N finished the hole, they ordered him to fill it and dig a new, bigger one, saying that he would not fit into the first.
When he finished, the attackers pulled him into a nearby cottage and continued to beat him. They threatened that, if he told the police, he would be beaten for a whole day instead of five hours. They then told him to strip down to his underwear and sent him off.
Milan N visited a doctor who found that the victim had suffered a concussion, cut wounds, and bruises all over his body.
It is unclear why the men beat the man. Trenčín police spokeswoman Lenka Bušová only said that the perpetrators were three men - a 31-year-old self-employed businessman and two students aged 17 and 18.
12. Jul 2004 at 0:00