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Hungarian Press Roundup: Gov’t Plans to Send Guards to 500 Schools

Hungary Today 2020.06.16.

A pro-government pundit welcomes the government’s plan to set up a school guard service to protect teachers and students from violence. A radical left-wing commentator thinks the plan misses the causes of school violence.

Hungarian press roundup by budapost.eu

Background information: School guards will be posted in those schools where the principal agrees to their presence. They will be unarmed but can use pepper spray, batons and handcuffs. The government plans to include in the project about 500 schools most afflicted by disciplinary problems.

In Magyar Hírlap, Dániel Galsai reports as the latest shocking example of school violence the case of a pupil in Hajdúhadháza, who kicked his teacher in the belly, because she told him he could not use his smartphone during an exam. Galsai doesn’t explicitly say that such incidents are race-related, but underlines that whether or not nine out of ten perpetrators are Gypsies, they must be punished regardless. Those who oppose the government’s plan to set up a school guard, he concludes, should first “offer their bellies”.

On Mérce, Dóra Diószegi-Horváth thinks the plan is another example of the government’s “demagogic idiocy”, aimed at profiting from anti-gypsy sentiments. She finds it sad that the population doesn’t protest against a project which regards children as potential criminals. Meanwhile, she continues, the real causes of school violence, namely domestic violence and misery are not tackled. The school guard project, she claims, is nothing more than “a covert form of Roma-bashing” which will only exacerbate underlying social problems.

Featured photo illustration by Zoltán Máthé/MTI