Union Says Anti-Maskers’ School Invasion Should Be Condemned, Punished

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“The public condemnation of this violent incident should be prompt and total,” the union said in a press release.

It added that the invasion of the 30 anti-maskers was also an organised disturbance of the peace, and that they and the organiser should be promptly and severely punished.

As for reports on police conduct, Preporod said the police should be punished too if their behaviour was indeed unprofessional and their response to the behaviour of the anti-maskers “late and mild.”

Preporod said that as of Monday the education authorities should send experts to the school to provide psychological support to the pupils, and that Minister Radovan Fuchs and his associates should visit the school as soon as possible, thereby supporting the pupils, their parents and all of the school staff.

The union reiterated that security in schools was lacking and called on the education authorities to do more to create conditions preventing any kind of violent behaviour in schools.

County head: Security will watch school entrance

Krapina-Zagorje County prefect Željko Kolar told Hina on Friday that as of Monday morning security would watch the entrance to the Krapinske Toplice elementary school as well as the schoolyard, where parents protested against mask-wearing earlier in the day.

Kolar said he would do everything so that pupils could come to the school without fear and that the county would ensure that classes were held without disruption.

He said the protesters broke the law banning organised protesting or gathering near a school during classes. He added that the police did not do a good job because the protest should have been banned or broken up.

Kolar said 308 pupils went to that school and that the parents of only two were protesting against masks, whereas all other parents and their children complied with the COVID rules.

The protest was held because an eight-year-old pupil who refuses to wear a mask, Nikola Gaćina, has been banned from entering the school since Monday. It was organised by his father Kristijan, who says a mask makes it difficult for Nikola to breathe and that the school does not allow him to use common areas without it. Thereby, he said, his son is being denied the right to an education.

Headmaster: Children’s health and safety come first

The school’s headmaster, Samson Štibohar, said children’s health and safety came first and that the protest was the result of one parent’s refusal to comply with the measures, protocols and decisions under which headmasters had to create work guidelines for the new school year.

“The problem is that the pupil and his parent refuse that he wear a mask in the hall and the toilet and when entering and leaving school, which takes maybe two minutes,” he said, adding that he saw nothing positive in the protest.

“I won’t say it’s genocide against pupils, but it’s something horrible. I saw there a lot of negative energy, meanness, a lot of frustrated people. If they want to achieve something, that’s certainly not the way,” said Štibohar.

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