The prejudice facing Romas in the Czech Republic was highlighted by recent events in the town of Karlov Vay where paramilitary members of the “National Guard” decided to station themselves outside of an elementary school in order to “protect” children from Romas who were living in a nearby dormitory. The children were promised escorts to and from school. Roma parents threatened to take their children out of school due to fear of their being hurt. A Roma student, Risa Stavansky, and his two friends were threatened by one of these “guards” who took out a switchblade. The police said they had personnel in the area and the mayor of the town said he would be “glad to hear their side” of the dispute, and by, “their,” he referred to the thugs.
No school anywhere in the world needs “guards” if the local police are doing their job. It is clear officials in this community are not doing their jobs as guardians of law and order. A mayor does not talk with thugs to “hear their side.” By the way, is he making any effort to hear the side of Roma parents?