In the wake of the news that the P. E. teacher who demonstrated how to swim on an ironing board faced persecution, many showed solidarity with him. In addition, after both the ombudsman and the Ministry of Human Capacities (EMMI) disapproved of the school district’s actions towards him, the leader of the school district eventually handed in his resignation.
After the introduction of online teaching due to the coronavirus outbreak, a P.E. teacher from the Attila József Secondary Grammar school in Makó comically demonstrated swimming on an ironing board. Although he really did show the right swimming technique to the pupils in the video, it also reflected the limitations and challenges of “digital teaching” and teaching some subjects from a distance, especially in the lockdown period. To date, his video has had almost 200,000 views, and reportedly, even swimming Olympic champion Éva Risztov liked it.
In an interview with him, published on Friday by the Democratic Trade Union of Teachers (PDSZ), however, revealed, that the director of his school district apparently didn’t really appreciate the joke, and gave the teacher a written warning, then, although not suspending him completely, banned him from his classes. In addition, he instructed the teacher with meaningless, or rather “humiliating” jobs, for example, to hand in detailed lesson plans every day, which the students couldn’t even see, as his groups were taken away from him.
The case has since made headlines in the media, and a petition has been kick-started on CitizenGo that so far has managed to accumulate almost 43,000 signatures, besides many other supportive statements. In addition, the ombudsman also launched an investigation of the case, as it found that the teacher’s human dignity has been violated by the school district.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the central state body for school management, the Klebelsberg Center (KLIK) reportedly asked the director to reconsider his stance, but instead, he chose to resign, Magyar Nemzet reported, adding that he would leave office on June 15th.
And in latest events, the Ministry of Human Capacities (EMMI), in charge of overseeing education, also disapproved of the director’s reaction. In response to ATV, EMMI claimed that “they consider the way the school district director handled the case as an obvious overreaction.” In addition, the statement also revealed that “in view of the fact that the director of the school district concerned has made several professional errors recently, his resignation will be accepted.” According to Index, one of these errors was that the school district had previously instructed several institutions to reduce student numbers. As a result, many students who, based on the admission exam results, believing their admission to the institution of choice was secured, would eventually be forced to start the school year elsewhere.