Following the decapitation of a teacher near Paris by an Islamist, the German Teachers’ Association warns of a “climate of intimidation” even at schools in the Federal Republic. “We are deeply concerned that a atmosphere of intimidation is also developing in Germany,” Association head Heinz-Peter Meidinger told the newspaper “Passauer Neue Presse” (Tuesday).
“The pressure is particularly high in hotspot schools with a high percentage of pupils with a corresponding migration background,” he added. Teachers, for example, were asked not to deal with topics such as the Middle East conflict or Israel in class.
“In some schools, teachers no longer dare to show a film like ‘Schindler’s List’. They get pressure from parents, but also from pupils.This can lead to self-censorship,” said the head of the association.Many teachers in Germany would probably be afraid to refer to the Mohammed cartoons in a lesson on freedom of expression and artistic freedom, for example. “They would then rather avoid mentioning these topics,” says Meidinger. When teachers take a stand on politically and historically sensitive topics, they must expect to be put under pressure.” Teaching people about ethical values and democracy must not become a test of courage for teachers”, Meidinger demanded.