• August 19, 2015
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Parents sue the capital city’s municipality in court

Parents of the students attending three of the Polish schools functioning in Vilnius: J. Lelewel High School, Sz. Konarski High School, and Lazdynai High School sued the Council of the City of Vilnius Municipality acts on reorganisation of the mentioned educational establishments. The court accepted the requests.

On 15th July 2015, the capital city’s Council, by the votes of the liberal-conservative coalition ruling in the city, made a controversial decision concerning the J. Lelewel school, also known as the old “Five”: the school may apply for the status of a gymnasium but, starting September 2016, it has to move from Antakalnis to Žirmūnai. Two weeks later, councillors settled the question of a few other schools, including two Polish ones – “Konarski” and “Lazdynai”. According to the adopted law, these establishments have been changed into elementary schools.

Parents had been announcing from the start that they were going to fight. The issues of reorganisation carried out against the school communities’ consent were applied to court. Both the application of the parents of students attending J. Lelewel High School who fight for their children’s possibility to continue studying in Antakalnis, as well as the applications of the Sz. Konarski and the Lazdynai’s parents were accepted by the court. On 18th August, a written reply from the Vilnius District Administrative Court concerning the Konarski school, saying that until the issue is settled, the decision of the City of Vilnius Municipality Council from 29th July 2015 will be repealed. Parents requested the court to suspense the decision, saying that if, starting 1st September 2015, there will not be grades 11-12 in the school, a few weeks before the new school year the students will have to search for another school and it will have a negative impact on Matura preparations. The court took into account the parents’ arguments. As a matter of fact, the capital city municipality has seven days to appeal against the court’s decision but in practice, it means that on 1st September students from both grades 11 and 12 will start education in their own school.

A similar application was submitted by the parents of the Polish-Russian Lazdynai High School. In this case, so far there is only an verbal acceptation from the court about the suspension of the municipality act’s validity from 29th July.

Parents from the “Źródełko” school-kindergarten also seek justice at court as they were planning that their children would attend the A. Mickiewicz gymnasium since September. However, the capital city municipality decided that it is about time the “Mickiewicz” school was changed into a 4-year gymnasium: starting September 2015, there would be 5 grades in this school. Parents sued the capital city council’s decision. The court, however, suspended the council’s act until examining the case.

Translated by Anna Plebanek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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