Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Court rules against separation of Roma children

Prešov Regional Court has confirmed a historic verdict in the case of discrimination against Roma in the education system issued by a district court in January 2012. The senate ruled that an elementary school in Šarišské Michaľany discriminated against pupils by creating separate classrooms for children located on separate floors. As of the next school year the school must put the children into mixed classes, the Sme daily reported on October 31.

Prešov Regional Court has confirmed a historic verdict in the case of discrimination against Roma in the education system issued by a district court in January 2012. The senate ruled that an elementary school in Šarišské Michaľany discriminated against pupils by creating separate classrooms for children located on separate floors. As of the next school year the school must put the children into mixed classes, the Sme daily reported on October 31.

School representatives explained that they did not separate children according to their ethnicity, but based on the fact that they came from a socially-disadvantaged environment. The majority of pupils so classified came from a nearby Roma settlement in Ostrovany, Sme wrote.

“Six children from trouble-free families and 12 pupils from a socially-disadvantaged environment. What has this to do with the education of the nation?” said the headmaster of the school in Šarišské Michaľany, Jaroslav Valaštiak, as quoted by Sme, after the ruling.

Valaštiak is now afraid that parents will decide to put their children in other schools, Sme wrote.

“Amnesty International welcomes the decision of the court, which is a signal to the Slovak education system and especially the Education Ministry and other competent bodies that separation of Roma children in segregated classes is a violation of the anti-discrimination law,” said Barbora Černušáková from Amnesty International (AI) in London, according to a press release.

Though it says that the ruling shows that segregation in not acceptable, AI warns that similar cases are occurring in other places, where Roma children are being placed in separate classes or special schools. One example is an elementary school in Levoča which, after pressure from parents, separated first-grade Roma from non-Roma pupils. Though the school placed some children in mixed classes, the segregated classes still exist, AI stated in its press release.

Sources: Sme, Amnesty International press release

For more information about this story please see: Court ruling opens door to integration

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

Top stories

In praise of concrete

It was once notorious for its drab tower blocks and urban crime, but Petržalka now epitomises modern Slovakia.

Petržalka is the epitome of communist-era architecture.

Slow down, fashion

Most people are unaware that buying too many clothes too harms the environment.

In shallow waters, experts are expendable

Mihál says that it is Sulík, the man whom his political opponents mocked for having a calculator for a brain, who “is pulling the party out of liberal waters and towards somewhere completely different”.

Richard Sulík is a man of slang.

Blog: Exploring 20th century military sites in Bratislava

It seems to be the fate of military sites and objects in Bratislava that none of them were ever used for the purposes they were built for - cavernas from WWI, bunkers from WWII, nuclear shelters or the anti-aircraft…

One nuclear shelter with a capacity for several hundred people now serves as a music club with suitable name Subclub (formerly U-club).