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Hundreds of Students Protest After Teachers Fired for Striking

At least five teachers were fired, effective immediately, from Ferenc Kölcsey High School in Budapest’s District VI, writes Eduline. An article on the news site reports that the head of the school district went to the high school to personally hand dismissal documents to the terminated staff members.

According to these documents, the teachers were dismissed for their involvement in the so-called “civil disobedience” protests that have been practiced at several schools in Budapest and outside the capital.

By engaging the civil disobedience activities, the relevant teachers allegedly violated “the fundamental obligations that arise from a public servant’s legal relationship.”

For those employed as teachers, refusing to work involves jeopardizing the interests and rights of students, especially with regard to restricting the fulfillment of … compulsory education.

-read the text of the termination papers.

Teachers at Kölcsey Ferenc High School in Budapest have taken part in several civil disobedience protests in recent months, but have also joined other strikes, such as the one organized by teacher unions in March.

In the evening, close to 200 students gathered in front of the high school to protest the termination of their teachers. According to HVG, so many people took part in the protest that they effectively shut down Munkácsy Mihály Street to traffic.

One of the fired teachers taught mathematics and chemistry. He was the school’s only chemistry teacher.

One of his students, Bence Kuti, gave a speech at the evening demonstration. Kuti wondered “what other means we have to use in a democratic country so that our teachers are taken seriously,” while also noting that employees at McDonald’s earn more than the teachers who teach the next generation.

What kind of country makes you ask for a permit to strike, otherwise they’ll kick you out of your job?

-asked the high school student.

The Democratic Union of Teachers (PDSZ) has called for a “national work stoppage” on October 5, World Education Day. As they wrote, “those working in kindergartens, schools, colleges, and professional services are asked not to go to work on this day.” [HVG, Népszava]

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