NSThe mood was so heated that the police arrived. around 100 Vaccination opponents wanted to disrupt the voluntary vaccination campaign at a school in Freiburg with banners, drums and whistles. “This vaccine is not a vaccine, it’s a human experiment,” a man chanted through a megaphone, accusing the school board of the crime. Shortly before that, a similar protest in the Bavarian town of Kösching near Ingolstadt nearly erupted into a fight when vaccine opponents attacked the mobile vaccination team at a secondary school.
In Freiburg, Rector Alexander Hochsprung remained calm, although the protesters threatened him with charges and legal consequences. His school had implemented its vaccination offer very carefully, he said: “The campaign therefore does not upset me in any way.” But many other teachers and school administrators are much less likely to accept that they are now often threatened and insulted when they wear masks or ask for tests, ask about students’ willingness to vaccinate or even organize vaccination campaigns.
“It’s an extra psychological burden for teachers,” says Heinz-Peter Meidinger, president of the German Teachers’ Association. It is true that the implementation of the corona measures in the “overwhelming majority of schools” is going well. But the frequency of incidents is increasing. Meidinger finds it “unbearable” that even violence is now taking place.
Bullying against teachers is not a new phenomenon in the Corona crisis. Last year, many schools had complained about the increasing aggressiveness of parents. In May, VBE education union announced that a quarter of teachers had already been offended via email, chat or in person. But now, says Ralf Scholl, president of the Baden-Württemberg Philologists’ Association (PhV), it cannot go on like this. “The pressure of suffering is no longer bearable.”
Scholl relates this not only to the increasing psychological stress caused by threats and accusations, but also to the immense extra work involved. Corona measures and the resistance against them brought the school administrators. “The first school boards have already returned their offices at the end of the school year.”
Distance learning can in any case be organized by schools
In many places, at least five to ten hours a week would be required to respond to inquiries, complaints and lawsuits. However, the schools do not receive time quotas for this. Scholl urgently calls for relief and proposes, for example, that school principals be released from their minimum compulsory education during the current school year. Depending on the size of the school, this is four to eight hours. However, that would either require hiring additional teachers, a difficult undertaking in the short term. Or the range of courses should be limited.
There is also another dilemma. Without a test, children are no longer allowed to participate in the lessons, but replace or Distance education at least organize schools. In Bavaria, for example, the Ministry of Education and Culture prescribes distance learning, but only if it is ‘possible’ according to the wording. But this offer is very rarely possible. That is why the children are given the teaching materials to take home, ‘that’s all’, says a school director who prefers to remain anonymous. “We also have to take care of the other students.”
The consequences for the children who refuse to test are likely to be fatal. Because in Bavaria the exams have to be done in person, and without exams there are no grades. These, in turn, are needed to apply for high school or high school.
Gudrun Wolters-Vogeler, President of the General School Management Association of Germany, calls for compulsory attendance to be reintroduced across the board as soon as possible. “Compulsory education would then be a fact and hopefully the test refusal has ended.”
Currently, compulsory testing offers parents the opportunity to literally take their children out of the school system. The Hesse Education and Education Association is alarmed: There is only very casual contact with many students, some have completely disappeared from the teachers’ radar. “Under no circumstances should this practice continue indefinitely,” VBE state president Stefan Wesselmann demands. But what to do forcing children to take the corona test?
“A handful” of test rejecters per school
The vice president of the Association of Philologists, Stefan Düll, warns against overestimating the problem. According to Düll, who is himself the director of a secondary school in Bavaria, there are only a few cases of test refusers, usually “a handful” per school. He has little understanding for the parents’ no: the test does not hurt anyone, does not make you sick and serves to protect others. As a condition for participation in classes, the test is therefore “proportionate”. And parents would then have to be responsible for the possible consequences of refusal.
“You have the right to educate and care for, which the state respects by providing the option to refuse the test.” Those who do not agree to the self-test abuse their child for political ends. “He just wants his own child ‘excluded’ from the school community in order to accuse the state and schools of discrimination.” You shouldn’t give in to that – “even if we are all fundamentally committed to the well-being of all children”.