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Russia faces a scandal about a gymnasium student who spoils agitation posters

November 16, 2011, 12:44 UTC+3

The Krasnoyarsk Territory’s Deputy Gorvernor Sergei Ponomarenko called the pupil’s act as “aggressive ignorance and baseness”

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One of schools in Krasnoyarsk has become an arena of a scandal about a student, who spoiled agitation materials of the United Russia party. The Internet users may see a video, recorded by a student of Gymnasium number three, where the school’s director reprimands Matvey Tsivinyuk, 15, for having spoiled agitation posters, demonstrating leaders of the country. The posters had been placed in the gymnasium’s lobby. The pupil claimed that placing of the posters violated the Russian legislation, and decided to write on them some anti-agitation words. The director called for him, and the student managed to record their meeting.

The author of the video says the director did not like the inscriptions he had made on the election posters of United Russia, the Vedomosti writes. The boy says the agitation of the kind violates article 9 of Russia’ law on political parties, which, among others, bans interference of political parties into educational processes of educational institutions. Besides, article 1 of the law on education bans organisation and activity of organisational structures of political parties, social-political and religious movements in state and municipal educational institutions and authorities, providing management of education.

The Krasnoyarsk Territory’s Deputy Gorvernor Sergei Ponomarenko called the pupil’s act as “aggressive ignorance and baseness,” though acknowledging as “extreme” the director’s manner of communicating with the pupil, the newspaper writes. The leader of the local division of United Russia does not see any violations in how the director acted.

This is not the first scandal in the present election cycle, which is connected with schools, as they have become important platforms for political agitation, the Vedomosti writes. There have been several reports about cases where officials demand from school directors provide necessary amount of voters on the day, and the cases where they persuade teachers and pupils’ parents during school meetings to vote for United Russia.

Even teenagers are tired of United Russia, the Moskovsky Komsomolets writes. As for 15 year-old Matvey, at first there will be attempts to make a hero of him – a fighter with the regime, which, no doubt, will be too much. The reason is that his parents are indifferent, and he has inherited the feature. He was indignant at the impetuous advertising of United Russia and his reaction answered it.

The newspaper says this situation is “very unpleasant.” The pupil wrote some protests on the posters. The teacher said some stupid words, which are disreputable for a director of gymnasium, and became a laughingstock. The pupil records the meeting, which is very modern, and then places it on the Internet. The newspaper is sure that behaviour of both sides reeks, from beginning to the end.

It is a pre-election situation, where the party of power does anything for the sake of a “convincing” victory and bears such “little tragedies,” the Moscovsky Komsomolets concludes.

Tsivinyuk’s page in VKontakte social network is full of approving comments, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Users express support in their commentaries to the video: “Bravo, Matvey!” “Matvey, we are with you!” “I believe we are approaching a day, where people who write about it in blogs or record a video, will take the streets to demand honest elections and fair competition,” the newspaper quotes leader of Yabloko’s youth movement Kirill Gonchar as saying.

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