Racism charges against teacher dropped

An Odense headteacher has been reported to the police for racially abusing some of her Muslim students – Pia Kjærsgaard finds the situation ridiculous

October 19th, 2012 9:40 am| by admin

UPDATE, 19.10.12, 09:40: Shaib Mansoor, the father of one of the children racially rebuked by headteacher Birgitte Sonsby and the man who reported Sonsby to the police, has dropped his charges. Mansoor said that the media attention around the charges succeeded in creating a debate about the issue. And even though he has dropped the charges, he still expects that Sonsby get sacked from her job.

"I wanted to establish a debate and make people realise that there is a problem. It is the only way to get the attention of the politicians," Mansoor told Ritzau.

ORIGINAL, 17.10.12, 13:42: Birgitte Sonsby, a headteacher from Funen, has been reported to the police and faces disciplinary action from the council after verbally abusing a group of young immigrant boys who had behaved badly in class.

The situation, which occurred about a fortnight ago, took place in the headteacher’s office at Ejerslykkeskolen School in Odense.

“I’m so bloody tired of you Muslims ruining the teaching lessons,” Sonsby said to a group of immigrant boys who had found themselves in her office after being unruly in class, according to Fyens Stiftstidende newspaper.

Sonsby later apologised to the families for her choice of words, but said that she didn’t believe that her outburst was racist.

“A situation arose in the classroom and some children needed to be reprimanded. They started laughing at me and I lost control. I said some things that I deeply regret and I apologise,” Sonsby told Fyens Stiftstidende.

But the apology apparently wasn’t enough for Shaib Mansoor, the father of one of the kids, who has reported Sonsby to the police for racism.

“This is way over the line. Of course, my son should be punished when he behaves poorly. But what she said was racist,” Mansoor told Fyens Stiftstidende.

Odense Council's school inspector, Poul Anthoniussen, described Sonsby’s words as ”completely unacceptable” and has summoned her to a meeting at the council next week.

Pia Kjærsgaard (Dansk Folkeparti), who stepped down as DF’s leader in the summer, showed that she was still very much alive politically, saying that the debacle had become “ridiculous”.

“It’s crazy that the police have to get involved in such a case. I am so affronted on the headteacher’s behalf that she has to meet at the council, and whatever else might happen, because of this nonsense,” Kjærsgaard told Fyens Stiftstidende. “She apologised already. Anyone can say something wrong without thinking sometimes.”

(Photo by Paul Kalirai)
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