In Voitsberg, Austria, on January 11th, there was an unbelievable case of discrimination, exclusion and probably almost a threat to the welfare of children. There, a 9-year-old boy was allegedly personally forced by the school director to write a class test outdoors – in winter and when the temperatures were below zero. The elementary school director did not want to accept a medically certified mask exemption.
The elementary school pupil, who was tested regularly, has not been allowed to take part in classroom lessons since January 9, 2022 – from that day onwards he had a valid medical certificate for a mask exemption.
A 9-year-old is wearing a thick jacket and is sitting on a chair in front of an open window at the Voitsberg elementary school. “This nine-year-old boy had to write his exam outdoors at -1 degrees celsius this week because the director of VS Voitsberg arbitrarily refused to accept his mask exemption certificate,” says Jürgen Groß, who posted the photo on the Facebook social network.
The post has already been clicked almost 3000 times. Also the Voitsberger FPÖ district party chairman Markus Leinfellner jumped on the story. According to the information available, the two responsible class teachers behaved correctly, the problem is apparently based on the attitude of the school management, writes Leinfellner in a broadcast. The student really wanted to take the science test, which led to the situation that, due to the regulations, he had to take the test outdoors in freezing temperatures and with the window to the classroom open.
After this incident, he was taken from school by his parents and a lawyer was contacted. For Leinfellner, the incident is “the outflow of an apparently completely misguided school management as well as the politically prescribed measures on the part of the federal and state government”: “It cannot be that a student is treated like a leper despite an existing medical certificate.”
The Voitsberg elementary school in Styria, where this scandalous case is said to have happened, has been silent so far.
During a local inspection in front of the school, director Margret Riedl of the Kleine Zeitung did not want to comment on it. The Education Directorate has also already intervened. “The case is currently being under investigation. Since there is clear picture material, it must now be clarified how and in what context the photo was taken,” said Julian Kampitsch, press spokesman for the Education Directorate. “The post speaks about an unaccepted mask exemption certificate, this information has not yet been verified.” In general, such certificates would lead to difficulties again and again, as it is often difficult to clarify whether they are actually medically justified, says Kampitsch. “In this case we don’t know anything about the background.”