The main thing is I feel safe

Author: Jan Horvath Jr.
Location: Studenka
I am seventeen years old.
When I had successfully completing the ninth grade of the Grammar School in Brno, my father enrolled me in the Higher Technical Library and Information Systems School. My story started there.
When I began in September as a freshman I was the center of attention. I was only the second Rom ever to study at that school. Everywhere around the school and in the classroom, all around me, people were talking about me. But I didn’t know what they were saying – or why.
The first two weeks of school were sort of to get acquainted. The teachers were kind, and my fellow pupils were nice. But I didn’t know what was waiting for me in the weeks to come.
All of a sudden my fellow pupils stopped liking me. Suddenly these nice studentsopened their eyes and realized they were talking to a boy of a different skin color and nationality. They started to have fun at my expense.
In the beginning it was bearable, but when the jokes started to increase, I had to tell the teachers. They said I took everything too much to heart.
In the meantime the class found out that I had told the teachers and started to get tough. They wrote me letters with threats and signed them with swastikas.
That was too much for me and I stopped going to school. After a few months my father arranged for me to transfer to the Romany Social High School in KolĂ­n. I didn’t have to prove anything to join the community. They accepted me immediately.
Today I am a sophomore, and I am satisfied. The main thing is that I feel safe here. I think the racism in the Czech Republic is a question of the present generation. I hope that my future children will be able to study not only with their own people, but also with the majority and other ethnic groups.

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