no. 07-00-99 / 2021-02 date: 27.9.2021.
The opinion was issued in the procedure regarding the complaint filed by AA from Belgrade against the Elementary School BB, due to discrimination based on marital and family status. The complaint states, among other things, that AA is the father of a minor daughter who attends the second grade of Elementary School BB, that he is not deprived of parental rights, and that the minor daughter, after divorce, was entrusted to her mother to independently exercise parental rights. The complaint states, among other things, that the school refuses to open an “E-diary” account for the complainant so that he can monitor the course of education and progress of his minor daughter, and that he believes that teacher VV unjustifiably excluded him from the Viber group in which she communicates with parents. The statement on the allegations from the complaint states, among other things, that the complaint of AA was not founded, “because he was certainly allowed to exercise the right to inspect the course of education of his minor daughter, that the school “assigns one code to parents” to access the E-diary, which they can use together, noting that the “E-diary program was created in this way”, that “Viber group” as an official form of communication at the school level does not exist, but exists unofficially at the class level, and that AA is certainly familiar with the course of his minor daughter’s education and progress in school. The statement of teacher VV was submitted on the reasons for the exclusion of the complainant from the Viber group. During the procedure, it was determined that in accordance with the regulations, the school was able to open an authorized electronic account for access to the E – diary, at the written request of the complainant, under the same conditions as for the mother of the child, which it eventually did on June 7, 2021, after the complaint was filed. The Commissioner stated that it is indisputable that parents can use one authorized electronic account, which is opened in the name of one parent, however, in a situation where the child’s parents are divorced and, as the complainant stated, are not in “good relations”, there is no reasonable and legitimate justification for the school for acting in the way it did by refusing to open an authorized electronic account to the complainant at his request. Also, the fact that, in this particular case, the school treated the parents unequally is shown by the fact that the school, by submitting the consent of the child’s mother to the Commissioner for inspection, obviously conditioned the opening of an E – diary account for the complainant with the mother’s consent, putting him in an unequal position, simply because the mother of the child independently exercises parental rights, that is, because of the complainant’s marital and family status. With regard to the exclusion from the Viber group, the Commissioner acknowledged the allegations in the teacher’s statement that the complainant had never applied to join the Viber group, but had been included in the group by one of the parents, and had been excluded from the group only after a request from the mother and presentation of the divorce ruling. Namely, the mother expressed her fear that, having in mind that her daughter told her that the complainant was coming to the schoolyard and that the Viber group was sharing information about the beginning and end of classes, the father could pick up his daughter contrary to the divorce ruling, which states that the complainant can have personal contact with his child only in the presence of the mother in a public place. The school addressed the Center for Social Work. on this matter. Based on all the above, it can be concluded that the school, in this case, was guided by the principle of protecting the interests of the child while in school, that is, implementing the court decision, and therefore temporary exclusion of the complainant from the Viber group cannot be considered unjustified under the circumstances. The Commissioner issued the opinion that Elementary School BB violated the provisions of Article 6 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination by failing to provide the complainant with access to the E-diary in the manner provided to the child’s mother, while it did not violate the provisions of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination by excluding the complainant from the Viber group. Since from the complainant was given access to the E – diary as of 7.6.2021, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality recommended to the Elementary School BB to take care of anti-discrimination regulations in the future when exercising the right of parents to access information important for monitoring the course of a child’s education.
COMMISSIONER FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQUALITY