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Nyíregyháza Roma neighbourhood school cleared of segregation

April 25th, 2015

Left-wing papers fume against the Kúria (Supreme Court), after it overruled previous verdicts that doomed a Gypsy school in Eastern Hungary to closure, because most of its pupils are of Roma ethnic background. A conservative author welcomes the verdict.

In its lead story and front page editorial, Népszabadság accuses the Kúria of yielding to government pressure and abandoning its independence, by ruling that from now on “ghettoising children will be legal if it is done under church auspices”. The left–wing daily even believes that on such grounds “blacks, Gypsies, Jews, or anyone else could be banned from Church-owned universities”.

In Népszava, Dániel Juhász interprets the ruling as “authorising school segregation in contradiction with the basic values of the European Union.” He accuses both the government and the churches of lacking any intention to improve the plight of the Roma and “worsening matters further by applying symptomatic treatment”.

On Válasz, Anita Élő recalls that the Greek Catholic church reopened the school on the Huszár housing estate in Nyíregyháza after an earlier closure, when the pupils were distributed among various schools in the town. Once it was reopened under church management, she writes, nobody compelled those children to choose the local school, and those who chose not to go there were even given free bus passes by the city council. The church runs a special programme for Roma children, and nobody questioned the high standards of the education it offers. Élő says children like their school; parents chose it because their kids enjoy attending it and the court was right in taking their opinions into account.


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