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Danish mayor defends decision not to fire Russian-born teacher — RT World News


The mayor of a Danish town has backed the refusal to fire a teacher of Russian origin despite demands from Ukrainian parents, some of whom are refugees from the current conflict with Moscow. The teacher was accused of abusing children and spreading “Propaganda” at the Nordvestskolen school in Helsingor, although the management disputed these claims.

“These mothers want the school to fire the teacher. But we don’t do that in Denmark. We don’t fire people because of their ethnicity,” Helsingor Municipality Mayor Benedikte Kiaer told TV 2 on Sunday.

The teacher was described as a woman who has lived in the country for decades and is a Danish citizen. According to local media, of the 32 students at the school, 27 are Ukrainians and one is a Russian-speaking Ukrainian student.

The dispute erupted on February 3, when the students were taking a music lesson given by the Russian-born teacher and her colleague. School inspector Soren Pedersen said the two teachers complained to him about “very abusive behavior” from two Ukrainian students to the teacher of Russian origin. They also played and sang the Ukrainian national anthem in the middle of a lesson “like a provocation” Pedersen said.

The school sent a letter to parents about the incident. Three parents responded by saying they did not want the teacher in question in the classroom. “It is disrespectful to all Ukrainians to invite a teacher from Russia to work with Ukrainian children who fled the war with Russia,” wrote one of the mothers, Diana Chynba, quoted by the media.

A second altercation occurred on February 24, exactly one year after Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring state. Two schoolgirls brought a Ukrainian flag with them and tried to enter the classroom in the middle of a lesson they weren’t supposed to attend, the school said.

“The intention was to display the Ukrainian flag as a provocation against the Danish-Russian teacher”, Pedersen said, adding that another staff member tried to stop them from interrupting the lesson and making them hide the flag. According to Pedersen, one of the girls told him that “if you have Russian employees, you support Russia.”

Tereza Podoliak, one of the Ukrainian students involved, told TV 2 that she and her classmate, who had a Ukrainian flag wrapped around her shoulders, had arrived to pick up a friend from another class. She accused the Russian-born teacher of starting the conflict.

Speaking to the media, Tereza’s mother, Olga Podoliak, claimed she had no problem with the teacher’s ethnicity. “But it is important to protect our rights and stop Russian propaganda,” she stated.

Kari Jorgensen, the school’s principal, defended the decision not to allow the display of the Ukrainian flag. “We are in Denmark. We celebrate national holidays that are in Denmark,” she said, arguing that students “need to know danish culture.”

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