Prosecution’s Office notified in this case.
The Board of Directors of Bucharest School No. 10 on Friday decided to dismiss teacher Dana Blandu, who was charged for requesting money for Christmas gifts from parents. One day ago, the Bucharest School Inspectorate had suspended the principal’s relocation contract, following her own request.
The principal was the person who made public on Friday the termination of the employment agreement of teacher Blandu, at the same time announcing the notification on criminal offences tabled to the Prosecution Office and the formulation of a plan of measures to fight such phenomena in the future. In his turn, Mihail Brancu, the representative of the Local Council to the Board of Directors of School No. 10, said this decision was made according to the report of the Discipline Commission. He also pointed out that a firm decision had to be taken, because “such a lady could not be allowed to stain the Romanian education’s reputation.” According to officials of the Education Ministry, Dana Blandu lost the right to work as tenure teacher in education, but only as substitute teacher, following the termination of her employment contract.
Education Minister Remus Pricopie told a press conference on Friday that the decision to terminate the teacher’s employment contract is legal and fair, pointing out that when someone does not respect either the profession or the law, there is no other solution. In addition, Remus Pricopie plans to amend the law in order for those whose employment contracts are terminated should be allowed no longer to work in this sector. “This is the first task I assigned to the Legal Department within the Education Minister, to draw up a draft law to be submitted to the Parliament: those whose employment contracts are terminated should be allowed no longer to work in education,” said Pricopie. Despite this case, he believes that the great majority of teachers have common sense and they would never ask money to buy gifts, as teacher Dana Blandu did.
Furthermore, Pricopie announced that the School Inspectorate of Bucharest (ISMB) will launch a similar investigation at a different school unit. The minister reiterated the fact that the school’s fund managed by teachers is illegal, but these funds can be collected by the parents associations, as long as they justify the amounts. Pricopie also said that the attitude of the mother who made public the case of School No. 10 is praiseworthy.
The representatives of education trade unions have also approved the decision to sanction Dana Blandu. FSLI considers the decision of the Board of Directors of Maria Rosetti School as the right one, underscoring that the federation disapproves such practices that are “a humiliation for the Romanian education system.” At the same time, FSLI stressed that the school’s fund should be banned. The Spiru Haret Education Trade Union Federation also stated that it would never support a teacher who asks for money or other goods from parents, but it pointed out that “a witch hunt” is not the solution. The Federation calls for the definitive removal of the school’s fund, claiming that the State has to ensure the materials necessary in this field.
On the other hand, the teacher has entered a media blackout since the decision was issued. Her attorney said he challenged in principle the school’s decision to dismiss her client, but she must respect their decision until the court rules in her favour. When asked about the video recordings surfaced in the press, he said he wishes the court would decide as regards the credibility and legality of the evidence, declining to make any comment in order not to influence the lawsuit. He also said he teacher “is appalled” and her mental state “is not very good”, when the journalists asked him if the teacher can give statements. “Just think that after 23 years of working in the system, she gets into this ill-founded situation,” the lawyer said.
Meanwhile, 20 parents are to be questioned by Police in the upcoming days. As regards the mother who denounced teacher Blandu to the police, she said on Thursday, after having been questioned by police officers, that when she revealed these facts to the school’s secretary’s office, she was told the teacher cannot be removed from office and that she is free to transfer her child to another school. The press reported similar cases denounced by parents. The “Goethe” German College denied information surfaced in the media as regards the alleged amounts collected from parents to buy gifts for teachers, naming them “denigrating”. According to recordings, teacher Blandu herself said that money are collected from parents to buy Christmas gifts also at other schools, giving as an example the Goethe College and the amount of 300 euros. At the Octavian Goga High School in Marghita, parents said the principal had requested money for the school’s fund and furniture, and also that he had rigged the national evaluation.