No. 07-00-115/2018-02 Date: 5 June, 2018
The opinion was issued in the procedure following complaint filed by M.S. from M. against the elementary school “D.B.V.” in M. The complaint states that her son A. S. from the first day when he went to school “was called a Gypsy by Serbian children”, beat and kicked, and she addressed the schoolteacher, pedagogue, school principal and school legal advisor, and nothing was done. In the declaration of the school principal, it was stated that the mother’s complaint was heard every time – she was interviewed by the teacher, the pedagogue, the principal, the school legal advisor, that the child A. S. and the children in the class were also interviewed, that the teacher’s supervision during the break was intensified, that several interviews and simulations in the class were conducted on topics:How do we solve conflicts, Who are we addressing for help, How does a new person feel in our class? It was further stated that meetings of the Team for protection of children against discrimination, violence, abuse and neglect were held and that the Operational protection plan for pupil A.S. was adopted. The school provided evidence to support the allegations of the declaration about the conducted activities. During the procedure, it was established that the school undertook a number of activities ever since November 2017 as preventive activities or as a response to peer violence which A. S. was exposed to, and that it could not be ascertained that peer violence which A. S. was exposed to by other pupils in class I2 was due to his nationality. In this regard, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality expressed the opinion that in the proceedure following the complaint from M. S. from М. against ES “D. B. V.” in M, it was not established that A. S. was discriminated against on the grounds of Roma nationality. However, given that discrimination can often be the cause of violence, and given the role of the school as an educational institution in the development of each child’s personality, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality considered that it was necessary for the school to work more actively to break the stereotypes and prejudices, as well as education of both teaching staff and children on methods of protection and the possibilities of responding to discrimination. Therefore, in accordance with the prescribed competence referred to in Article 33, point 9 of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality gave a recommendation to the Elementary School “D. B. V. “in M. to continue to undertake measures and activities for encouraging tolerance, understanding the phenomenon of discrimination and mechanisms to protect against pupil discrimination in the institution, in order to prevent discrimination and peer violence.
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PROTECTION OF EQUALITY