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Czech teacher fired for spreading Russian propaganda in class

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Prague, Czech Republic – A primary school teacher in the Czech Republic was sacked for spreading Russian disinformation narratives about the war in Ukraine.

According to local media, the teacher was sacked by the school’s principal for telling her class of 8th graders that none of what was shown on Czech Television regarding the war in Ukraine was true or really happening.

She also suggested that the Czech Republic’s public broadcaster was owned by companies linked to Hungarian-born American billionaire George Soros and could therefore not be trusted.

Students secretly recorded the class and showed it to their school principal afterwards.

“I was shocked by the content of the recording,” headmistress Renata Rieglova said. “It’s hard to imagine that an educated person could give such a lecture full of hate and untruth to children.”

Czech Education Minister Petr Gazdík welcomed her decision to fire the teacher, who worked at the Na Dlouhém Lánu school in Prague.

“Everyone has a right to an opinion, but not a lie,” Gazdík commented. “That is why I appreciate the approach of the school principal who immediately fired the teacher.”

In a statement released after, the teacher called the sacking “a disturbing violation of all democratic principles and freedoms in this country and an unprecedented restriction of speech and opinion.”

Earlier this month, the Czech government and the People in Need organisation provided schools across the country with material to help teachers talk about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, explain to young children what was happening, and warn them against the risks of pro-Kremlin propaganda and disinformation tactics.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.