Danish Ministry of Education Says No Segregated Romani Classes

According to Danish national daily newspaper Jyllandsposten of December 2, 2004, Denmark’s Minister of Education, Ms Ulla Třrnćs, refused Helsingřr Municipality’s request to keep open several segregated Romani classes. In announcing her decision, Ms T“Romani classes” followed a complaint submitted in December 2002 by the Danish Romani organisation Romano, Mr Johannes Busk Laursen and Mr Henrik von Bülow, activists working on Romani issues in Denmark. The municipality was given until September 27 to terminate the illegal classes, but decided to apply to the Ministry of Education for permission to keep several of the classes open. Jyllandsposten quoted Helsingřr’s mayor, Mr Per Tćrsbřl, as having stated earlier that Roma have to learn to calculate and write instead of being criminals.

On December 10, Jyllandsposten reported that Helsingřr municipal authorities had again asked the Ministry of Education for an exemption. On December 17, 2004, after receiving confirmation from Mr Bjarne Petersen, Director of Helsingřr Municipality’s Department of Children and Juveniles, that one of the illegal segregated Romani classes remained open, the ERRC sent a letter to Mayor Tćrsbřl requesting that the illegal class be closed immediately and that the affected Romani pupils be given all support necessary for their easy and successful transition into regular class environments.


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