Don’t keep it a secret: you have parents who can help you

Lenka Usti nad Labem
I attended the sixth class in an elementary school. There was nothing special about it –- just that I found out that kids in our class were not very happy to have me in the same class because I’m Romany.
I don’t know what happened to them, but all of a sudden they started stepping on my toes. I liked them all and had a lot of friends at school.
I don’t know what happened.
I just came to school one day, and it began. They started calling me bad names and abusing me and humiliating me. It was so bad that I had to tell my parents.
It was even worse the next day. So I told our teacher. But she didn’t take much interest in it.
Then it got worse and worse. In the corridors children were shouting at me. It lasted a week: a week of racist abuse.
The headmistress knew all about it. But she did nothing.
My parents had to come to the school.
I felt like crying. I didn’t know what was going to happen.
My parents came to our classroom and asked my schoolmates: "What do you have against her? Why do you treat her that way?”
The kids were all silent and pale like corpses. They were shocked to see my parents at the school.
But my parents took me out of this school. “Our child is not going to attend such a racist school,” they said.
The headmistress pleaded with them to leave me there. She promised she would see to it that it would never happen again.
But I didn’t believe her anymore, and my parents put me in another school.
I can’t complain. The children are better here.
So I want to give a bit of advice to anybody who finds her- or himself in a similar situation: don’t keep such a thing to yourselves; don’t keep it a secret.
You have parents who can help you.
[You may also be interested in reading and responding to a story which Monika Horakova, a Romany member of the Czech Parliament, tells about her mother’s intervention at her school in Brno. “The number of educated Roma is increasing” also appears in this menu, Learning.
And in Monika’s story we refer to another: what Eva Bajgerova tells about working with other parents and teachers in Usti nad Labem in responding to a problem that involved her son Martin:”We all worked together,” also in Learning.
But there are many, many stories: please do add your own!]

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