On Tuesday, several dozen people gathered in front of the 3rd Secondary School in Tarnów (Małopolskie Voivodeship). This is a manifestation of support for the suspended school principal. The school board of education initiated disciplinary proceedings after Jan Ryba informed the family court that one of his students may be a victim of domestic violence.
Students of this and other institutions, parents and graduates gathered in front of the school. They had stickers “Burem za Rybą” and banners that read “Give us the director.” The same inscription hung on the walls of the high school.
– I went to this school and I think that the principal did a very good job, because something much worse could have happened. I believe that the headmaster’s intervention was timely, much needed, he should get an award, not what happened – said one of the women demonstrating in front of the school.
Another graduate admitted that she came to the manifestation because of sentiment – but not only. – I am a mother of two children who go to school. I wouldn’t want them to ever experience insensitivity, because some director or teacher will be afraid to notify the relevant services that something inappropriate is happening to the children. I think that (the director – ed.) he realizes that the whole city is proud of him, and actually the whole country, everyone stands by him. He did a good thing and everyone should follow his example.
Support for the director
Representatives of the Youth City Council also appeared in front of the school. – Our task is to be close to the affairs of young residents of our city. That is why we are here today, we want to manifest our support for the entire community of the 3rd Secondary School, we want to manifest our support for director Jan Ryba, who is a widely respected person in our city, he is a well-known educator, director who has been running this school for many, many years with many successes – said Tomasz Kowalski from the MRM.
As he added, the demonstrators want to “send a clear signal that the well-being of young people, the well-being of children, the well-being of students should always be an unquestionable priority for everyone, especially public authorities.” – If things go wrong, we call on teachers, pedagogues and headmasters not to be afraid, but to take actions that will serve to protect pupils and students – convinced Kowalski.
Recall that Director Jan Ryba after receiving signals from teachers and the school counselor that one of the students was in a dangerous situation, he notified the family court. Later, the girl’s aunt made a similar report to the prosecutor’s office. The student’s mother has already heard allegations of mental and physical abuse of the child, and her daughter has moved in with her father.
– The prosecutor’s office is investigating the abuse. In the course of these proceedings, the mother was accused of mistreating her daughter in such a way that she started fights, during which she called her abusive words, made fun of her appearance, limited contacts with family and friends, isolated her from the environment, and also violated her bodily integrity by pulling, holding and hitting her face – describes prosecutor Mieczysław Sienicki from the District Prosecutor’s Office in Tarnów. As he indicates, the director in this case – informing the family court – behaved correctly.
The Małopolska school board of education initiated disciplinary proceedings against the headmaster. In connection with this decision, the mayor of Tarnów should suspend Jan Ryba from his function. – On February 14, the disciplinary spokesman for teachers at the Małopolskie Voivode informed the city office and me personally that he had initiated proceedings accusing the headmaster of violating the rights and welfare of the child. In April, the disciplinary commission officially announced the initiation of such proceedings, and in May the final decision was made to carry out the entire explanatory process, including information about accusing the headmaster of committing an act that is punishable by dismissal in the teachers’ code, says the mayor of Tarnów, Roman Ciepiela.
Suspension of Jan Ryba
WITH in a statement released by the board of directors last Friday it appears that the reason for the proceedings is “failure (by the director – ed.) to perform tasks in the field of psychological and pedagogical assistance and non-implementation of recommendations issued under pedagogical supervision”. According to the education superintendent of Małopolska, Barbara Nowak, the application to the family court was a late action.
– The documentation held by the Board of Education shows only that on June 2, 2022, the director of the III LO in Tarnów notified the Family Court about the case. This notification, in the opinion of the Małopolska Education Superintendent, was a late action, as the school found out about the problem that was the basis for the notification in April 2022, reads the statement of the superintendent.
In an interview with TVN24, Nowak said that “in Małopolska, we all make sure that children are safe all the time and we always defend the child.” – This situation you are talking about is at least appalling, because it turns out that it is not the child that is important, but the headmaster, and all the chaos in the school is awakened to defend the headmaster against alleged persecution. If we assumed that this child was important, I think that neither the headmaster, nor the teacher, nor anyone else would make a fuss at the moment, just wait for the deliberations and the verdict of the disciplinary committee, said the curator.
A disciplinary committee hearing on the matter is scheduled for March 2024, until then the director is to remain suspended and receive only part of his salary.
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Main photo source: TVN24