- Jul 2011
More: Student Smackdown: Russian Teacher Gets Support -- And Maybe His Job Back -- After Striking PupilsA strange thing happened when "life safety" teacher Viktor Sadlinsky was caught on video smacking his high-school students in the Russian village of Borovsky: He received an outpouring of sympathy.
Parents and students at School No. 2 in Borovsky, a suburb of regional capital Tyumen in western Siberia, staged rallies in support of the first-year teacher
Petitions were launched describing him as "a worthy teacher and mentor.". And memes like "I am Sadlinsky" and "Bring back Sadlinsky" popped up on social media.
Vowing not to give in, Sadlinsky sued to get his job back.
"We cannot bring rods to school. Times are different," regional education department head Olga Butorina told parents on October 11, a day after the video emerged and Sadlinsky was fired.
"But you have to!" the crowd responded, according to the regional news outlet 72.ru. "It is necessary!"
Educators across the board -- from the school, to the Tyumen region, to the federal authorities -- had serious concerns about what was captured on camera during Sadlinsky's Basic Life Safety class and posted to social media on October 10.
"Who is special here? Are you morons or have you just not gotten [punished] in a long time?" Sadlinsky, 30, can be heard shouting as he walks between rows of desks, striking multiple pupils.
"Are you special?" he asks one student as he grabs him around the neck. "Are you special? he asks another as he jerks his head back violently.
Sadlinsky was fired the same day the video was posted on a VK page devoted to life in Borovsky. But while the local school district quickly issued a statement in which it expressed its "outrage" over the incident, announced that a psychologist was working with the students, and said that the school principal had apologized, some in the community suggested that the kids got what was coming to them.
"The class in which the incident occurred was uncontrollable, there are hooligans there," one unidentified parent whose child had studied under Sadlinsky told 72.ru during a rally outside the school on October 11. "Many teachers don't want to have them in their class, but what should they do?"
I would say it's a generational issue over there.
You have older people, raised in the Soviet era, who think that it is perfectly normal for teachers to physically punish kids who misbehave.
And you have younger, Millenneal parents now, who have also experienced that shit themselves, and don't like it, and think it needs to be a thing of the past and doesn't belong in Russian schools today.
Each camp blames the others for the violence in the schools, the former accusing the latter of stripping discipline from the schools and raising a generation of "loose" own kids who have no respect for their elders; while the latter blame abusive, violent teachers with the Soviet values of that older geration for screwing up the kids...
So far, neither side has really prevailed...