After complaints from parents and devastating inspections for the principal, the Mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski, dismissed Anna Moskalewicz-Dudek from the position of principal of primary school No. 26. “The behavior and omissions demonstrate an unethical approach, unworthy of a teacher, and even more so of a school principal,” we read in the justification for the decision. It was mainly about using the new sports hall. The director tried to use the infrastructure built with public money for clubs associated with herself and her friends.
For the first time o conflict regarding the gymnasium of primary school number 26 in Krakow we reported in the second half of September. This is a facility that has been running gymnastics classes for many years and which – also for many years – has cooperated with the Korona club, which has distinguished itself in the Podgórze district. So far, training for children from sports classes was conducted at this club’s facilities.
When the construction of a new school gymnasium began in 2022 – one of the best equipped in Poland – it seemed obvious that Korona’s coaches would conduct classes there for Primary School 26 students. These were the arrangements with the Sports Infrastructure Board, this was the vision of the councilors who allocated the money for the investment, this was the result of the contract signed with the Korona club in 2019.
But director Moskalewicz-Dudek had a different idea for the new hall. Which just led to her being dismissed from office.
The city hall dismisses the director
The scale of irregularities that officials included in the extensive, six-page justification dated October 24, 2023, is considerable. “The behavior and omissions presented (by the school principal – ed.) demonstrate an unethical approach, unworthy of a teacher, much less a school principal,” the president said in the order.
The letter states that the decision is the result of consideration of parents’ complaints, letters from the education superintendent, interventions of councilors and members of the Sejm.
What was paid attention to? First of all, the Student Sports Club, created secretly from parents, was supposed to be a competition to Korona, which had been known to students for years. Moskalewicz-Dudek became its president.
It was created in the winter of 2023, without consulting the parents’ council required by education law. The case came to light only a few months later, in June.
In the summer, without signing any contract, the director allowed her friends, a private company called Gymnastic, into the facility, who recorded an advertisement in the still unfinished interiors and later published it on social media. They boasted that the hall, costing taxpayers PLN 20 million, was their new location where they would conduct commercial classes for children. After the intervention of officials, the advertisement disappeared from Gymnastic’s profile, but registration for classes was still open.
The class schedule favored the club founded by the director
The gymnastics schedule, until now always adjusted to the lesson plan, in the new school year made training easier for children enrolled in the club founded by the director, and more difficult for those who remained loyal to the Crown. Students enrolled in Korona had shared training sessions – half at school and half in club buildings about a kilometer away. Those enrolled in UKS 26, founded by Moskalewicz-Dudek, completed the entire three-hour training block in the new hall. – It’s discrimination – our parents told us. The embittered people wrote the same in letters to the city hall, councilors and the school board.
The parents also did not agree to pay UKS 26 PLN 650 for changing the club colors (this is a fee charged by the Polish Gymnastics Association – but it should be paid by the club, not the players). – No one forces anyone to do anything – answered Anna Moskalewicz-Dudek when asked about this fee. – This hall was built with our taxes, and the director is trying to use this property for her private purposes – said Krzysztof, the father of one of the students, in September.
Outraged parents tried to communicate with the principal. The questions they asked remained unanswered.
“Unequal treatment of students”
The municipality pointed out that UKS 26, an entity separate from the school, does not pay for renting the new sports hall. However, it draws on membership fees and subsidies from the city, “and at the same time, in a privileged way, uses the School’s sports infrastructure free of charge,” notes the mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski, in justification of the decision to dismiss Moskalewicz-Dudek from his position. According to the club’s statute, the management board may collect remuneration.
The president agreed with the parents: “the actions undertaken by her (Anna Moskalewicz-Dudek – ed.) bear the hallmarks of limiting cooperation with KS Korona, which has been providing sports training for the School’s students for years, while favoring UKS26 founded by the Director and other commercial entities, which “Consequently, it means unequal treatment of students.”
By “other commercial entities”, President Majchrowski most likely means the Gymnastic company, whose management board consists of the director’s friends, and another club: Grappling Kraków, founded by Anna Moskalewicz-Dudek and her husband. Both run commercial classes and both are present at the school.
Interestingly, until recently, the list of contracts of the Podgórze primary school included information that in the last school year the corrections room at the school was provided free of charge by the Grappling Kraków Association. As the vice-president of Krakow, Anna Korfel-Jasińska, assessed in an interview with us, it was an illegal action. Suddenly, in October, a “correction” of the list appeared on the office’s website, according to which the club paid the school based on the lease agreement. The mayor of the city also drew attention to this mess in documents – and not only him, because Barbara Nowak, Małopolska’s education superintendent, also wrote to the president about it.
Mayor of Krakow: the principal broke the law and harms the school’s interests
President Majchrowski sums up the case as follows: the director “directly violated the provisions of the education law” and the Real Estate Management Act. “The actions undertaken by the Director for several months are detrimental to the interests of the School and destabilize its functioning,” we read further in the justification.
The city authorities add that the director “did not show good will and did not establish real cooperation with the Parents’ Council, and did not complete the activities to which she was obliged by the governing body.” They point out that due to the director’s actions, students have inconsistent, divided training sessions. The latter was also pointed out by the president of the Polish Gymnastics Association in September. “The presented scope of training, i.e. training twice a day for 1.5 hours, is absolutely unacceptable and does not bring any training benefits. The training is simply not carried out on such grounds” (original spelling) – we read in the letter from the president of the association, Leszek Blanik, Olympic gold medalist from Beijing.
The municipality also refers to the inspection of the Małopolska Education Board carried out at the facility. Małopolska superintendent Barbara Nowak indicated in a letter to the city office that school documents are inconsistent, and principal Anna Moskalewicz-Dudek “does not cooperate with parents, in particular with the parents’ council” and “does not comply with the law.”
The document also shows that there was a conflict at school between teachers and the head of the school. After the 2021 inspection, the school board found that the principal had been given a recommendation to “improve interpersonal relations between the principal and teachers.” However, according to the school board, the recommendation was not fulfilled. Meanwhile, Onet journalist Monika Waluś reached teachers who reported that the principal had divided the school community, made work difficult, and called a police patrol to the house of one of the teachers, claiming that she had appropriated school documentation.
Anna Moskalewicz-Dudek will cease to be the principal of primary school no. 26 at the end of October.
Main photo source: TVN24