2010 24/02
Юры Шары, Жодзінскі выканкам

Yury Shary, Zhodzina executive committee

On 24.02.2010 between 09-00 and 10-00, Juvenile Commission of Zhodzina executive committee held a meeting, which was attended under the threat of administrative sanctions by the parents of the Belarusian-speaking schoolboy Yanka Lapitski, who due to a series of decisions by Zhodzina executive authorities lost the opportunity to continue his education in Zhodzina gymnasium № 1 in Belarusian.

It was distinctive that this time the meeting hall was attended by representatives of the school – classroom teacher Natalia Makarchyk, as well as representatives of the executive committee. At the same time, there was no director of the gymnasium № 1 Henadz Karshun, who could have answered a number of specific questions. The fact is that he directly without presenting the applicants with a reply to their petitions in 2009, ignored Resolution № 417 of the Commission on Juvenile Affairs of Zhodzina executive committee of 20.10.2009 and in fact by his own order stopped further studies of Yanka Lapitski in the gymnasium…

The commission was composed of the following members: first deputy chairman of the executive committee of Zhodzina Yury Shary, chair of the town’s education department Yauhen Haryd, a representative of the local police department Khamiankou, Liudmila Muzychenka (Children’s Social Center), MP of Zhodzina town council Aliaksandr Baranouski, a representative of the town’s ED Lidzia Samusevich, chair of the commission Natalia Larchanka, and secretary Iryna Danilava…

At the beginning of the meeting chair Natalia Larchenko refused to hold the meeting in the state Belarusian language. She explained it simply by the fact that “the meetings of the Commission at Zhodzina Executive Committee are held in Russian”(!?)

The chair read the official version on the situation from which it followed that the problem with the termination of Yanka Lapitski’s education at the gymnasium was in the wrong position of the boy’s parents, who (according to the executive committee) impeded the Belarusian teenager’s studies in a Russian language class and to fulfill the recommendations of Decision № 928 of 23.06.2009 by Zhodzina executive committee.

Aliaksei and Sviatlana Lapitskis in response to reiterated attempts to force them to renounce their own beliefs and the Constitutional Law (education in mother tongue) once again expressed their position and declared their legitimate demands.

The address, with no response from Chair of the Commission, was repeatedly interrupted by comments and questions of the policeman Khamiankou, who expressed his impatience towards the Lapitskis’ position, began to comment on the statement, interrupting the speaker with questions … Requests to the chair to properly conduct the meeting and observe the proper procedures did not yield any results. Aliaksei Lapitski had during his speech to defend his right to express his views and beliefs, through accusing Zhodzina state officials of violating the law, the Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Despite all the stated arguments and the clear position of the Lapitskis family on this issue, Chair of Zhodzina education department Yauhen Haryd once again expressed his insistence on continuing the education of Yanka in a Russian-language class. He expressed confidence that the current decision (clearly discriminatory, which prohibited a full gymnasium education of the Belarusian-speaking teenager) could only be reversed by a court (!) and that for a refusal to transfer Yanka to a Russian-language class his parents might be subject to administrative penalties (warnings, fines)…

In response, Aliaksei Lapitski objected that such a statement misled the Commission members, since the decision of the executive committee on the proposal of the Commission may be revoked by the executive committee itself, as was done with a decision in 2005, which resumed the Belarusian-language education of Yanka at Gymnasium № 1, and the student studied in his native language until the new abolition of the resolution by a discriminatory act of 23.06.2009.

As a result of the debate, during which the City Council member A. Baranouski expressed his surprise at the situation with the termination of the teenager’s Belarusian-language education in Zhodzina (which presented no threat to anyone) and said that he hoped to offer on behalf of the Commission to Zhodzina Executive Committee to lift decision № 928.

At the end of the debate, first deputy chair of the executive committee Yury Shary assured the parents that he would submit a concrete proposal to the executive committee for a positive resolution of the issue, taking into account the position of the parents. And that a complete solution of the problem might already arrive by the beginning of the next week.

The parents in turn expressed their readiness to continue their son’s Belarusian-language education as soon as possible. And also – the hope that the new decision, which was expected to be taken in the course of its solution, will help resume the process of Belarusian-language education in Zhodzina gymnasium in the near future.

Thus, despite certain difficulties in the holding of the meeting, the results of the review of Yanka’s issue by Zhodzina Juvenile Commissions are again encouraging. But, as it always happens in such cases, the final word rests with Executive Committee.

P .S.

A positive Decision № 417 (By) of the Commission on Juvenile Affairs of Zhodzina executive committee of 20.10.2009, which ordered the town’s education department within a 5-day period to restore the Belarusian-language education of Yanka at Gymnasium № 1, already during its implementation was stopped by a usual decree of school director Henadz Karshun and was not implemented until the end of the year.

Ales Volny,

Belarusian Legal Portal


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