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03.02.2012

Donetsk court prohibits closure of Ukrainian school

   

The Voroshylovsky Court in Donetsk has accepted as unlawful and revoked the decision of the City Council to close the Ukrainian language School No. 111.  The City Council is refusing to comment but says it is planning to appeal the ruling.

Parents learned of the plans to close the school a year ago. The civil suit from the parents was lodged by mother of two students Iryna Kruhlova.

The authorities of the Petrovsky District of Donetsk claimed that the school had a small number of students and that the students could study in other schools in the district. The community was outraged and asserted that the decision had been taken without public discussion.

“The decision of the Donetsk City Council was taken with flagrant violation of current legislation, secretly and without any discussion with parents, with the public, without any grounds given. It is therefore unlawful and violates children’s constitutional right to education, to the parents’ choice of school and proper conditions for receiving an education”, the claim stated.

It also pointed out that the percentage of places filled – 57%  - was not the lowest in the district, nor were there any other Ukrainian language schools nearby, meaning that the children would have to change to a Russian-language school.

The parents held a number of protests and refused to move their children. During the court examination, the City Council’s decision was suspended, so the school resumed as normal on 1 September.  Its future depended entirely on the court ruling.

Iryna Kruhlova says that she received anonymous threats advising her to withdraw her claim. She reported them to the police, but the latter found no grounds for initiating a criminal investigation.

From a report on the BBC Ukrainian Service

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