Eleven-Year-Old Romani Girl Attacked at School in Spain

13 November 2006

On 16 January 2006, Europa Press reported that Q.J.A, an 11- year-old Romani girl, had been repeatedly verbally attacked and abused at the San Francisco de Almendralejo elementary school in Badajoz, Spain. According to Europa Press, students repeatedly abused Q.J.A. throughout the current school year and, on 12 January, eight children locked the girl in the school's gymnasium.

Following the 12 January incident, the pupils' teacher reportedly punished all students involved, including Q.J.A. All nine students were placed in a supervised classroom after school. At one point, the supervising teacher left the classroom and the eight students again attacked Q.J.A., kicking her and hitting her with chairs while shouting insults including "fat", "Gypsy", "poor" and "mentally retarded", Europa Press reported. The victim escaped but could not find assistance at the school, as everyone had already left for the day. The girl then left the school and her mother immediately took her to the Emergency Health Centre in Almendralejo. She was then taken to the Merida Hospital, where she received medical and psychological treatment. A medical report allegedly indicated that Q.J.A. suffered multiple concussions.

On 13 January, Q.J.A.'s family filed a complaint with the police, submitting the girl's medical reports as evidence. On 18 January, the Spanish national newspaper El Pais reported that the Consejeria de Educacion de Extremadura had also opened an investigation. However, the school's director, Ms T Serrano, and the eight students involved in the attacks denied the allegations. Additionally, El Pais also reported that the Association of Parents in Almendralejo announced its full support for the school.

The Consejeria de Educacion de Extremadura moved Q.J.A to another school as a result of the parents complaint.

(European Press)


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