Ombudsman Adam Bodnar called on Thursday “for human rights standards to be respected in public debate.” “A special obligation in this respect rests with persons discharging public functions,” he added. His statement appeared after Krystyna Pawłowicz’s post about a transgender child, which was removed after several dozen hours.
Krystyna Pawłowicz on Twitter, she published information on a transgender child on Tuesday. Pawłowicz provided the child’s data (name and age), the school the child attends and the headmistress of the facility. She wrote about the resolution according to which teachers will refer to the child using a female first name at the parents’ request. “The data on marital status records has been disregarded,” she said.
After a wave of criticism and announcements of taking action, among others, by the Office of the Human Rights Defender, on Thursday, Pawłowicz deleted her Tuesday entry. She later wrote that she did not want to “hurt the baby” and that she apologized to them.
The Commissioner for Human Rights calls for compliance with the standards in the debate
On Thursday afternoon, a statement was published on the website of the Ombudsman, in which it was written that Adam Bodnar “again calls for human rights standards to be respected in public debate.”
“A special obligation in this respect rests on persons performing public functions, who in their statements should take into account fundamental values and rights, including the citizens’ right to privacy, the principle of protection of the best interests of the child, or the prohibition of discrimination” – added. It was emphasized that the Ombudsman “is making this appeal as an independent body on equal treatment.”
“Discrimination and related prejudice motivated violence have a significant impact on mental health”
The Commissioner for Human Rights recalled that “discrimination and the related violence motivated by prejudice have a significant impact on the mental health of people who experience them due to belonging to a specific minority group”. “For these reasons, positive measures to ensure the right conditions for development and learning should be welcomed,” reads the statement.
“School is one of the first environments in which young people develop their sense of social sensitivity, learn to respect diversity and respond to discrimination. Therefore, the school environment should make every effort to ensure that the student does not feel that his identity is building barriers. or isolates him from his peers “- assessed Bodnar. According to him, “it is also important that the teaching staff act with particular sensitivity in the context of recognizing and counteracting discrimination of their pupils, cooperating with parents and emphasizing that the rights of each student are fully respected”.
“Recognition for the efforts made by the director and the teaching staff”
A separate letter was attached under the statement – signed by the deputy Ombudsman, Hanna Machińska – addressed to the school’s management. “I would like to express my appreciation for the efforts made by the headmaster and the teaching staff to protect human rights standards. At the same time (…) I would like to kindly ask you to provide detailed information on all actions taken by the school in this case, taking into account the cooperation of the school authorities with the child’s parents and school community “- Machińska wrote.
The Commissioner for Education writes to the board of education
The Office of the Ombudsman also asked the Masovian Board of Trustees whether the school carried out an inspection that would include this matter in its thematic scope. Had the answer been yes, more detailed questions had been managed.
The question was also asked: “Has the Mazovian Board of Education taken or is planning to take measures to guarantee the safety and respect for the private life of a primary school student who is covered by the indicated media reports – and if so, what are these activities?”
Main photo source: Mateusz Marek / PAP