Private School in Hungary Declared Unlawful
07 November 2002
On August 30, 2002, the Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County Administrative Office reversed the decision of the Jászladány local government to designate eleven classrooms in the local primary school as private schooling, on the grounds that such classes were unlawful, according to the Hungarian national daily newspaper Népszabadság of September 19, 2002. Several teachers in the area commented about the private school that "the segregative purpose is clear," reported the Budapest-based Roma Press Center (RSK) in May. The Jászladány local government has been widely criticied in Hungary for apparently attempting to establish a private school in order to provide "whites-only" schooling. The Administrative Office's decision reportedly followed Jászladány Mayor István Dankó's proceeding with the creation of the private school despite being asked to retract the decision to open the school by the Administrative Office in June 11, 2002, according RSK (for further details on this action, see: Ombudsman Finds Discrimination against Roma in Education in Hungary ). According to Népszabadság, the Jászladány local government was forced to re-enrol the two hundred and five children, the vast majority of whom were ethnic Hungarians, in the public school to and re-hire twelve teachers who had left the public school to teach at the private school. However, Népszabadság reported that the students previously enrolled in the private school started the school year in separate classes within the public school. On September 16, 2002, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported that parents of children who had been enrolled in the private school reportedly blocked a road leading into Jászladány in protest against the decision of the Administrative Office.
(Népszabadság, RFE/RL, RSK)