Czech President Petr Pavel meets with Ukrainian girl bullied by classmates

The Czech president condemned bullying at school, especially when it targets a child who had to leave her homeland due to war. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 11.06.2023 09:45:00 (updated on 11.06.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech President Petr Pavel took to social media this weekend to share a photo from a meeting with a young Ukrainian schoolgirl who had been a victim of bullying. Video of the bullying incident had gone viral earlier last week.

The president expressed his strong condemnation of bullying, humiliation, and violence in schools, particularly when it involves a child who had to flee their homeland due to war.

A video circulated on social networks captured a distressing incident where the young girl was subjected to name-calling and even spitting by her Czech classmates during a school trip last week.

President Pavel said that he appreciated the school for promptly addressing the incident, and the parents of the classmates involved in the bullying for offering an apology to the girl, but that the impacts of bullying have a long-lasting effect.

"I condemn bullying, humiliation and violence in schools in general. And in the case of a child who had to leave her country and friends because of the war and to whom we offered a safe haven, it is particularly shameful," Pavel wrote.

"I appreciate the reaction of the school and parents and that there was an apology. But the scars on the soul will remain. Every child deserves safety, acceptance and respect. We should all focus on what we can do to strengthen these values ​​in our society and, in turn, reduce discrimination, violence and the feeling of exclusion."

Other Czech politicians have also weighed in on the video after it was widely shared last week, condemning both this particular incident and all forms of bullying in general.

Czech Minister of Education Minister Mikuláš Bek expressed his reaction to the video, firmly stating that any form of bullying is absolutely unacceptable.

"Children often mirror our own behaviors and reveal how cruel and senseless these behaviors can be," tweeted Interior Minister Vít Rakušan.

According to Czech media reports, the incident took place during a field trip involving students from a primary school in Opočno, located in eastern Bohemia.

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