SCAN – political magazine: Alara – a child, discriminated and expelled from school in Kocani

Esma Rustemova, the mother of little Alara Rustemova, says that the teacher Ljupco Gorgiev in the primary school of “Rade Kratovce” in Kocani acted badly with her daughter, hitting her with a ruler and continually yelling at her and discriminating her on ethnic grounds. The topic of this episode of SCAN is whether there is ethnic discrimination in the school, where the institutions have failed, who will take responsibility as little Alara isn’t attending classes for more than a month…

She told the teacher she was feeling sick, and he tells her ‘come on, don’t give me that Gypsy stuff’, and since that day my daughter is scared, constantly crying and doesn’t want to go to school”, says her mother Esma Rustemova.

Her mother says that she reported the misconduct of teacher Gorgiev to the principle of the school, Blagoj Davitkov, but instead of him hearing her out and taking measures against the teacher, she claims she was kicked out from the office.

“While we were in the school yard, the principle grabbed my hand and pushed me to the fence. I have bruises on my arm from that and I went to a doctor and have a medical certificate”, says Rustemova.

She adds that her husband Bajram Rustemov was held for 24 hours at the police station, because of supposedly having physically assaulted the teacher.

“My husband went to the school to talk to the teacher, to find some kind of solution, because there is nowhere else to talk but the school, but instead of talking my husband was taken to the police station and detained”, she says.

The principle of the primary school “Rade Kratovce”, Blagoj Davitkov, denies the accusation that teacher Georgiev harassed student Alara, and indicated the teacher helping a student with special needs in the same class as a witness.

Little Alara hasn’t been going to school for some time now, because none of the three grade teachers in the school “Rade Kratovce” want to teach her, following the incident. Her mother Esma says that she received a written decision that Alara has been expelled from school.

Davitkov claims that there is no ethnic discrimination, because in the primary school “Rade Kratovce” there are many Roma students attending classes.

The case was reported to the State Education Inspectorate, and during the extraordinary inspection it was concluded that Alara Rustemova had not been physically harassed or punished by the teacher Ljupco Gorgiev, only that the parent Bajram Rustemov had physically harassed teacher Gorgiev, is stated in the explanation of the education inspectorate.

The Rustemov family have filed a private lawsuit against the school, the teacher and the principle.

Dehran Muratov
camera and photography: Atanas Petrovski
editing: Arian Mehmeti

Translation: Natasa Cvetkovska

This post is also available in: Macedonian