no. 07-00-245/2023-02 date: 4 August 2023.
The opinion was issued in the proceedings concerning the complaint of association A.A, with the consent of B.B, against Elementary School …, due to discrimination against her three children (her son M.K., who attends first grade, son A.K., who attends fourth grade, and daughter M .K., who attends the eighth grade), based on nationality. In the complaint, it was stated that the first-grade student N. M. mentally and physically abused M.K., the complainant’s son, who is also a first-grader, calling him “a gypsy every day, kicking him in the back, spitting and cursing the gypsy mother”, and that the elementary school … did not take appropriate measures to prevent these incidents which she believes are caused by Roma nationality. It was further stated that the complainant’s daughter, M.K., an eighth-grade student, was reprimanded for filming her brother being beaten on her mobile phone. It was also stated that the complainant’s son, student M.K., was forbidden to go on an excursion on May 11, 2023, as well as to come to daycare. The school stated that on October 6, 2022, first-grade student N. M. kicked student M. K. (complainant’s son) in the yard, at the incitement of an older student because the complainant’s son had previously touched and harassed the younger sister of one of the older students, while the complainant’s daughter M. K. recorded everything with her mobile phone and sent the video to her parents. They further stated that the school has strengthened its educational work with all the students who were the actors of this event, of which it has submitted evidence. The school’s statement also specified that the complainant’s son, M.K., was not forbidden to go on an excursion, as well as that the mother was given a recommendation that her son no longer come to the daycare due to bad behavior, disrespect for discipline, and because he does not do his homework. During the proceedings, the school submitted evidence that the school’s actions regarding the event of October 6, 2022, are not in a cause-and-effect relationship with the personal characteristics of B.B.’s children, especially bearing in mind that educational work with all the event actors has been increased. Further in the procedure, it was established that the complainant’s sons, M. K. and A. K., stated that older students whose names they do not know insulted them and called them “gypsies”. It was determined that the school did not provide evidence that, following these statements, it undertook activities to ensure a non-discriminatory, stimulating, inclusive, and safe educational environment for all, regardless of their personal characteristics. After the proceedings and the establishment of facts, the Commissioner gave an opinion that the Elementary School … put the minors M. K. and A. K. in a disadvantageous position based on their personal characteristic – national affiliation, by failing to take preventive measures and activities in case of suspected discriminatory behavior after the students’ statements that older students insulted them and called them ” gypsies”, while in the case of reported peer violence from October 6, 2022, and the alleged bans on going on excursions and attending the daycare, it was not established that the school violated the provisions of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination. The Commissioner recommended that the Elementary School … plan and undertake measures and activities in the school year 2023/2024 to encourage and preserve basic values such as camaraderie, humanity and solidarity, mutual respect, and tolerance with the aim of creating a safe environment, developing non-violent behavior, and establishing zero tolerance towards violence, especially with an emphasis on the position of Roma students, as well as eliminating stereotypes and prejudices about the Roma population among students and employees of the school, and that in the future, within the framework of their activities, they do not violate the legal regulations on the prohibition of discrimination.
Commissioner for the Protection of Equality