Teacher suspended after her pupils criticise Italian far-right law

Date: 
May, 2019
Country: 
Italy

An Italian teacher has been suspended over a video made by her students that compared a security law drafted by Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, to Mussolini’s racial laws, provoking a storm of protest against her suspension across the country.

Rosa Maria Dell’Aria was last week suspended for 15 days on half pay after an investigation by the education ministry’s provincial authority in Palermo found she had not “supervised” her students’ work.

“I am embittered,” she told the Guardian. “I am not talking about the economic damage, for the days of suspension, but about the moral and professional damage after a whole life dedicated to the school and the kids.”

Students at Vittorio Emanuele III high school in the Sicilian capital had presented the video in January as part of a project for International Holocaust Remembrance Day comparing current events to antisemitic persecution.

The students, aged 15 to 16, compared the fascist-era racial laws introduced in Italy by Benito Mussolini to Salvini’s security decree, approved by parliament the previous month. The law left hundreds of asylum seekers in legal limbo by removing humanitarian protection for those not eligible for refugee status.

Salvini said: “I don’t know who it was who proposed, controlled, ordered, or suggested [it], but for someone to put Interior Minister Matteo Salvini – who may be likeable or unlikeable – on a par with Mussolini, or even Hitler, seems absolutely demented to me.”

Source: The Guardian