Thursday, May 31, 2012

What are the sources of children's thinking?

The following related news items come from Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha). 
The issue raises some rather fundamental questions.
I doubt that the child was as intentionally malicious as those who falsely accuse teachers of sexual assault. In a story I once heard, which may be apocryphal, a teacher was summoned to the headmaster's office to hear that a girl was pressing charges. The teacher dropped his pants to reveal that his genitalia had been all but destroyed in the Vietnam War. Case dismissed. What happened to the girl? Nothing I expect. 
And yet Breclav Boy has incited racial hatred on a grand scale and international embarrassment to the Czech Republic because he was afraid of his mother's reaction to him falling from a balcony. 
I would also like to know how the doctors were unable to distinguish a brutal attack from a fall. 

May 24th, 2012
Boy fabricates Roma attack story

A 15-year-old boy who claimed he had been brutally beaten up by Romanies in Breclav has admitted that he caused his injuries himself by falling from a railing. The boy who lost a kidney as a result of the accident fabricated the attack because he was afraid of his mother's reaction. The incident stirred strong anti-Romany sentiment in the town of Breclav and ultra right groups organized an anti-Romany march through the town. The town approved a number of security measures in reaction to the alleged attack and invested money in a better camera system. The boy's mother on Thursday apologized publicly for her family's behavior and returned a 100,000 crown donation that had been collected for her son's medical treatment.

May 24th, 2012
Czech Association of Romanies considers taking legal action over Roma attack story

In related news, the Czech Association of Romanies is considering taking legal action in the case, which they have labeled an act of inciting racial hatred. The head of the association announced Thursday that he would discuss the issue with local Romanies from Breclav. Speaking on the matter, he said that Romanies in the town had suffered greatly due to the incident. He added that it was important to keep calm and that he wanted to also address the matter with town hall officials and the police.

May 25th, 2012
Government human rights commissioner hopes lessons will be learned from fabricated attack

The government's human rights commissioner Monika Simunkova says the fabricated attack on a Moravian boy by Roma was damaging to the Roma community and those who work with stopping social exclusion. She said she hoped the incident would be a permanent reminder to locals of how cautiously people should approach media information and warned against blaming groups of people for the acts of individuals. Residents of Breclav took to the streets en masse when a fifteen-year-old boy reported he had been beaten by three Roma. He was hospitalised and lost a kidney. On Thursday he admitted to police that he had in fact fallen off one balcony railing on to another and had invented the story for his mother.

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